Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

August 2006


Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. A 74, 023402(2006). Copyright © 2006 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


We present a detailed quantum mechanical treatment of the photodetachment of H- by a short laser pulse in the presence of crossed static electric and magnetic fields. An exact analytic formula is presented for the final state electron wave function (describing an electron in both static electric and magnetic fields and a short laser pulse of arbitrary intensity). In the limit of a weak laser pulse, final state electron wave packet motion is examined and related to the closed classical electron orbits in crossed static fields predicted by Peters and Delos [Phys. Rev. A 47, 3020 (1993)]. Owing to these closed orbit trajectories, we show that the detachment probability can be modulated, depending on the time delay between two laser pulses and their relative phase, thereby providing a means to partially control the photodetachment process. In the limit of a long, weak pulse (i.e., a monochromatic radiation field) our results reduce to those of others; however, for this case we analyze the photodetachment cross section numerically over a much larger range of electron kinetic energy (i.e., up to 500 cm-1) than in previous studies and relate the detailed structures both analytically and numerically to the above-mentioned, closed classical periodic orbits.

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