Seminar Details

Generating, Measuring and Using Attosecond Pulses

Paul Corkum, University of Ottawa
Thursday, September 13, 4:10 PM - Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Biomedical & Physical Sciences Bldg., Rm. 1415

Ultrafast science crossed the 1-femtosecond barrier just over one decade ago. In making this transition, we left perturbative nonlinear optics behind. The new world of extreme nonlinear optics is understood by following the semi-classical sub-cycle response of materials. In fact, attosecond pulse generation can be intuitively understood with only classical physics. However, at the atomic level, quantum mechanics can never be completely ignored. I will show how a quantum description of attosecond pulse generation map onto an interferometer an electron interferometer created by light. A weak additional field can perturb the interferometer while simultaneously constructing a perturbative nonlinear optics on top of the extreme process. This leads to new spectroscopic methods for studying atoms and molecules and the only method for measuring the space-time structure of an attosecond pulse.