Novel experiments using ultrafast pulses are currently revolutionizing laser physics research. They deliver unprecedented insights into matter – into the structure and dynamics of electrons in atoms, molecules and in condensed phases. Using what is known as an attosecond experiment, physicists at Waseda University in Japan, the National Research Council in Canada and the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) in Berlin have managed to completely measure and describe the quantum-mechanical wave function of an ionized electron. The results have now been published in “Science”.
An attosecond is one quintillionth of a second, roughly equivalent to the relationship between one second and the age of the universe. Attosecond light pulses can profoundly change the states of matter.
By using attosecond light pulses, electrons can be excited to a higher energy level (a higher orbital), which is characterized by a series of quantum numbers that describe the energy of the excited electron, the rotation of the electron around the core of the atom and its spin. If the energy that is transferred from the attosecond pulse to the atom is high enough, the electron can even ionize – which means that it leaves the atom and flies off, for example towards a detector.
In the new attosecond experiment, the scientists managed to completely measure all quantum numbers of the released electron – or indeed, the wave function of a released electron – which is why the experiment may be called a “perfect” attosecond experiment.
“Attosecond research is still in its infancy,” says Professor Dr Marc Vrakking, MBI Director and co-author of the publication. “It’s only because of very recent developments in laser technology that experiments of this kind have become possible. Attosecond experiments allow us to comprehensively measure the changes that the absorption of light bring about in matter. Our results make an important contribution to fundamental research in quantum physics.”
Electrons are elementary particles that make electricity possible. Ionization, for example, is the basis for the operation of solar cells. Sun light releases electrons in silicon, generates a current flow. The current experiment used laser pulses to release electrons from atoms, and to measure and describe how this changed the state of the atom and the electron. Lasers are also essential tools for storing and transmitting information in measurement technology, in medical diagnostics and in modern production technology, from shipbuilding and aircraft construction to computer chips.
Coherent imaging of an attosecond electron wave packet
D. M. Villeneuve, Paul Hockett, M. J. J. Vrakking, Hiromichi Niikura
Science. 2017, Vol. 356, Issue 6343, doi: http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aam8393 (link will be live at the embargo time)
Please find attached images and a summary of the research results.
Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy
Professor Dr Marc Vrakking
Tel. +49 (0)30-6392-1200
Anja Wirsing | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Squeezing light at the nanoscale
17.06.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
The Fraunhofer IAF is a »Landmark in the Land of Ideas«
15.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering