Physicist discusses high-order harmonic generation at AAAS

Feb 17, 2013

One-billionth of a billionth of a second. That's the scale – an attosecond – at which scientists seek to image and control electronic motion in matter. Its natural time scale.

The principle of science was the focus of a Sunday (Feb. 17) symposium during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Physicist Anthony Starace was among the speakers, presenting "High-Order Harmonic Generation, Attosecond Science and Control of ."

Starace, a George Holmes University Professor of Physics at UNL, reviewed current theoretical understanding of the "new frontier" of high-order harmonic generation and discussed the prospects for achieving the goals of attosecond science.

"Because electrons move on a scale of Angstroms (one ten-billionth of a meter), light pulses used to illuminate this motion must have high energies so that their de Broglie wavelength is sufficiently small to be able to resolve (or image) the electron motion," Starace said. "Also, because electrons move so fast, light pulses must have durations that are shorter than the typical time scale for electron motion."

De Broglie waves, a theory of , indicate how a wavelength is inversely proportional to the momentum of a particle.

Attosecond pulses are becoming the preferred future tools for imaging, visualizing and even controlling electrons in matter in their natural time scale. Attosecond research could eventually open new applications in a wide range of fields including nanotechnology and life sciences, based on the ultimate visualization and control of the of the electron.

Attosecond science evolved from advances in modern laser technology that allow generation of ultra-short light pulses, or high-order harmonic generation – Starace's area of expertise.

Starace joined seven other scientists to discuss "Attosecond Science in Chemical, , and Energy Science." The AAAS annual meeting was Feb. 14-18 in Boston.

Explore further: Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Flashes of light out of the mirror

Jun 12, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A team of the Laboratory of Attosecond physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics developed an alternative way of generating attosecond flashes of light. 

Scientists track electrons in molecules

Jun 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists in Europe have successfully glimpsed the motion of electrons in molecules. The results are a major boon for the research world. Knowing how electrons move within molecules will ...

Recommended for you

Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures

Jan 23, 2015

From aerial surveillance to cancer detection, mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) radiation has a wide range of applications. And as the uses for high-sensitivity, high-resolution imaging continue to expand, MWIR sources are becoming ...

Football physics and the science of Deflategate

Jan 23, 2015

News reports say that 11 of the 12 game balls used by the New England Patriots in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were deflated, showing about 2 pounds per square inch (psi) less ...

Physicists find a new way to slow the speed of light

Jan 23, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of physicists working at the University of Glasgow has found a way to slow the speed of light that does not involve running it through a medium such as glass or water. Instead, as they ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.