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A sub-femtosecond study of linear photon momentum transfer during an ionization process, done by a team at ETH Zürich, could provide insight into the “birth” of photoelectrons.
Physicists understand how photons transfer their energy to an ion and a photoelectron during multiphoton ionization of an atom. However, the precise details of how light passes its impulse onto matter are still not fully understood. One reason, said the ETH Zürich team, is that changes to the transferred impulse occur during an optical cycle on extremely fast, sub-femtosecond timescales. Existing studies provide information on time-averaged behavior, but not on the time-dependent aspects of the linear-momentum transfer during…READ MORE