Multiphoton Ionization of Atoms

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Science  27 Sep 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4720, pp. 1345-1351
DOI: 10.1126/science.229.4720.1345


Studies of multiphoton ionization of atoms have revealed several unexpected characteristics. The confluence of the experimental evidence leads to the hypothesis that the basic character of the atomic response involves highly organized, coherent motions of entire atomic shells. The important regime, for which the radiative field strength is greater than an atomic unit (e/a20), can be viewed in approximate correspondence with the physics of fast (approximately 10 MeV per atomic mass unit) atom-atom scattering. This physical picture provides a basis for the expectation that stimulated emission in the x-ray range can be produced by direct, highly nonlinear coupling of ultraviolet radiation to atoms.