The development of lasers capable of producing high-intensity pulses has opened a new area in the study of light-matter interactions. The corresponding laser fields are strong enough to compete with the Coulomb forces in controlling the dynamics of atomic systems and give rise to multiphoton processes. This book presents a unified account of this rapidly developing field of physics. The first part describes the fundamental phenomena occurring in intense laser-atom interactions and gives the basic theoretical framework to analyze them. The second part contains a detailed discussion of Floquet theory, the numerical integration of the wave equations and approximation methods for the low- and high-frequency regimes. In the third part, the main multiphoton processes are discussed: multiphoton ionization, high harmonic and attosecond pulse generation, and laser-assisted electron-atom collisions. Aimed at graduate students in atomic, molecular and optical physics, the book will also interest researchers working on laser interactions with matter.
C. J. Joachain is Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Brussels. His research activities concern quantum collision theory and the interaction of intense laser fields with matter. He has received many scientific awards and distinctions, in particular the Alexander von Humboldt Prize. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the American Physical Society, and is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, of the Academia Europaea and of the European Academy of Sciences. N. J. Kylstra is currently employed in the financial services industry, and is a research fellow at the University of Brussels. His research interests include the interaction of atoms with high-intensity laser fields. R. M. Potvliege is currently Reader in Physics at the University of Durham. His research interests cover the theoretical aspects of multiphoton processes in intense laser fields.
Part I. Basic Concepts: 1. High-intensity laser-atom physics; 2. Theory of laser-atom interactions; Part II. Theoretical Methods: 3. Perturbation theory; 4. Floquet theory; 5. Numerical integration of the wave equations; 6. The low-frequency regime; 7. The high-frequency regime; Part III. Multiphoton Atomic Physics: 8. Multiphoton ionization; 9. Harmonic generation and attosecond pulses; 10. Laser-assisted electron-atom collisions; Appendix; Index.