Rigorous quantum calculations of the femtosecond ionization of hydrogen atoms in air lead to highly anisotropic electron and ion angular (momentum) distributions. A quantum Monte-Carlo analysis of the subsequent many-body dynamics reveals two distinct relaxation steps, first to a nearly isotropic hot nonequilibrium and then to a quasi-equilibrium configuration. The collective isotropic plasma state is reached on a picosecond timescale well after the ultrashort ionizing pulse has passed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics