Stabilization of atoms in ultra-strong laser fields, a decade later

Gavrila, M.
July 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 525 Issue 1, p103
Academic Journal
This overview presents basic notions on atomic stabilization, some new illustrative results, as well as the recent controversy it has stirred. We start with quasistationary (adiabatic) stabilization (QS), the original form in which the concept has emerged from high-frequency Floquet theory (HFFT). QS designates the property of the high-frequency ionization rates to decrease with intensity beyond some critical high value of the latter. Other forms of Floquet theory (Sturmian basis diagonalization, close coupling in the angular momentum basis, R-matrix) have confirmed the existence of QS, and obtained concordant numerical values for the rates of H. The experimental manifestation of QS can be obtained with adiabatically varying pulses. Dynamic stabilization (DS), on the other hand, is the general form of the phenomenon, covering also the case of rapidly turned-on pulses. It designates the fact that, for wave-packet solutions of the time-dependent Schro¨dinger equation, the ionization probability of an atomic electron at the end of a laser pulse of given shape and length, starts decreasing (albeit in an oscillatory manner) beyond a certain critical value of the peak intensity. At still higher intensities, a “destabilization” regime was found, in which the ionization probability increases slowly to 1. We illustrate this behavior with recent results. Further, we give an interpretation of DS based on the expansion of Schro¨dinger wave packets in terms of Floquet eigenstates (“multistate Floquet theory”). The interpretation relies on the fact that the Floquet states involved manifest QS, that several of them may be populated during the turn-on of the pulse (“shake-up”), and that, if the turn-on is very rapid, the initial population can be projected directed directly into the continuum (“shake-off”). We also comment on the controversy around DS in recent years, originating, on the one hand, in numeri...


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