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Observing Rydberg atoms to survive intense laser fields.

Authors
  • Eichmann, U
  • Saenz, A
  • Eilzer, S
  • Nubbemeyer, T
  • Sandner, W
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review Letters
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
May 17, 2013
Volume
110
Issue
20
Pages
203002–203002
Identifiers
PMID: 25167402
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The idea of atoms defying ionization in ultrastrong laser fields has fascinated physicists for the last three decades. In contrast to extensive theoretical work on atoms stabilized in strong fields only few experiments limited to intermediate intensities have been performed. In this work we show exceptional stability of Rydberg atoms in strong laser fields extending the range of observation to much higher intensities. Corresponding field amplitudes of more than 1 GV/cm exceed the thresholds for static field ionization by more than 6 orders of magnitude. Most importantly, however, is our finding that a surviving atom is tagged with a measure of the laser intensity it has interacted with. Reading out this information removes uncertainty about whether the surviving atom has really seen the high intensity. The experimental results allow for an extension of the investigations on the stabilization and interaction of a quasifree electron with a strong field into the relativistic regime.

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