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Title: Asymmetries in ionization of atomic superposition states by ultrashort laser pulses
Abstract Progress in ultrafast science allows for probing quantum superposition states with ultrashort laser pulses in the new regime where several linear and nonlinear ionization pathways compete. Interferences of pathways can be observed in the photoelectron angular distribution and in the past they have been analyzed for atoms and molecules in a single quantum state via anisotropy and asymmetry parameters. Those conventional parameters, however, do not provide comprehensive tools for probing superposition states in the emerging research area of bright and ultrashort light sources, such as free-electron lasers and high-order harmonic generation. We propose a new set of generalized asymmetry parameters which are sensitive to interference effects in the photoionization and the interplay of competing pathways as the laser pulse duration is shortened and the laser intensity is increased. The relevance of the parameters is demonstrated using results of state-of-the-art numerical solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for ionization of helium atom and neon atom.
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Scientific Reports
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National Science Foundation
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