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How Can the Motion of Electrons Be Changed by Short Pulses of Laser Light?

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Pfeifer,  Thomas
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Abstract
THOMAS PFEIFER is interested in the origins of motion: how, on an atomic level, motion is coming into play and how this motion that is initially described by the laws of quantum mechanics then transfers into the classical motion we can see. For this, researchers employ a combination of spectroscopy and laser methods. The specific research question presented in this video investigates how a very fundamental system, such as an atom with just one or two electrons, interacts with an intense pulse of laser light on a very short time scale. Exposing the helium atom in their experiments to very short pulses of laser light, the researchers gained an understanding of the way how two, or more electrons – even in larger molecules – are moving and how they can control the motion of these electrons. This observation offers new opportunities to understand quantum motion, and eventually laser control chemical reactions.