The purpose of this project is to generate and study new forms of atomic dynamics, obtained by the action of extremely intense laser fields. To this end, we propose to develop for the very first time a laser capable of yielding an intensity of some 10 19 - 10 20 W/cm2, in ultrashort pulses of about 30 femtoseconds (1 fs equals 10 15 s), with a high repetition rate of 10 Hz. In comparison to the most powerful lasers presently used in atomic physics research, this is about 10 3 times more intense, and has a more than 10 times shorter pulse duration.
A comprehensive experimental and theorical program was set up for the study of the phenomena appearing in this unprecedented environment. Combined electron, ion and photon spectroscopy will be used to investigate experimentally the distortion of the atoms, and their stripping into highly charged ions by multiphoton ionization, with an eye on new exotic phenomena. Innovative techniques shall be used. The theorical program focuses on the direct multiple ionization mechanism, and on the role of the oscillations induced by the field in the outer shells. This project is a joint European venture, which would allow us to maintain and foster the existing perfomances in the areas of advanced laser technology, under the increasing pressure of internation achievments.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts