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  1. Characterization of ultrashort vacuum and deep ultraviolet pulses is important in view of applications of those pulses for spectroscopic and dynamical imaging of atoms, molecules, and materials. We present an extension of the autocorrelation technique, applied for measurement of the pulse duration via a single Gaussian function. Analytic solutions for two-photon ionization of atoms by Gaussian pulses are used along with an expansion of the pulse to be characterized using multiple Gaussians at multi-color central frequencies. This approach allows one to use two-photon autocorrelation signals to characterize isolated ultrashort pulses and pulse trains, i.e., the time-dependent amplitude and phase variation of the electric field. The potential of the method is demonstrated using vacuum and deep ultraviolet pulses and pulse trains obtained from numerical simulations of macroscopic high harmonic spectra.

  2. 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.
  3. Abstract

    We present a reproducible ab-initio method to produce benchmark tests between time-dependent Schrödinger equation (TDSE) in the single-active-electron approximation (SAE) and time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) in the highly nonlinear multiphoton and tunneling regime of strong-field physics. To this end we compare results for high-order harmonic generation from valence shells in atoms using the SAE-TDSE approach and TDDFT calculations. As key to the benchmark comparison we obtain an analytic form of SAE potentials based on density functional theory, which we applied for different atoms and ions. The ionization energies of atomic ground and excited states, as well as the energies of inner shells, for the SAE potentials agree well with experimental data. Using these potentials we find remarkable agreement between the results of the two independent numerical approaches (TDDFT and SAE-TDSE) for the high-order harmonic yields in helium, demonstrating the accuracy of the SAE potentials as well as the predictive power of SAE-TDSE and TDDFT calculations for the nonperturbative and highly nonlinear strong-field process of high harmonic generation in the ultraviolet and visible wavelength regime. Finally, as another application of the SAE potentials, high harmonic spectra from outer and inner valence shells are calculated and it is shown thatmore »unphysical artifacts in the SAE-spectra from the individual shells are removed once all the amplitudes are considered.

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