A classical Hamiltonian model for high harmonic generation

Dynamical Systems Working Seminar
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 15:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 254
School of Physics
In a high harmonic generation (HHG) experiment, an intense laser pulse is sent through an atomic gas, and some of that light is converted to very high harmonics through the interaction with the gas. The spectrum of the emitted light has a particular, nearly universal shape. In this seminar, I will describe my efforts to derive a classical reduced Hamiltonian model  to capture this phenomenon. Beginning with a parent Hamiltonian that yields the equations of motion for a large collection of atoms interacting self-consistently with the full electromagnetic field (Lorentz force law + Maxwell's equations), I will follow a sequence of reductions that lead to a reduced Hamiltonian which is computationally tractable yet should still retain the essential physics. I will conclude by pointing out some of the still-unresolved issues with the model, and if there's time I will discuss the results of some preliminary numerical simulations.