Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Extreme Nonlinear Optics: Understanding Intense Light-Matter Interaction

Lora Ramunno
Centre for Research in Photonics, University of Ottawa

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Stirling C


This talk will answer the question: What happens when you blow stuff up with extremely intense laser light? The ionization of atoms by ultrashort, intense laser pulses has allowed the creation and study of previously inaccessible regimes of electromagnetism, giving rise to extreme high harmonic generation, attosecond light pulses, and table-top coherent and incoherent intense X-ray sources. Moving from atoms to condensed matter, intense laser light leads to the creation of dense plasmas that permanently "damage" the material. If properly controlled, this type of interaction has many technological applications, ranging from the micromachining optical materials to laser microsurgery to the fabrication of micro-3D optical devices in bulk dielectrics. But unlike intense laser-atom interactions, the underlying microscopic processes in intense laser-solid interactions are not yet understood, primarily due to their greater complexity. I will present an overview of the current theoretical and experimental efforts in this area, as well as our current research, which looks at intense laser-cluster interactions as a useful stepping stone to unravelling these microscopic mechanisms in solids.

Refreshments available BEFORE the talk in Stirling C from 12:30 pm.