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Matter Imaging Moves Forward
Mar 2011
QUEBEC CITY, March 16, 2011 — New information on the electronic structure of atoms and molecules is now available because of first-ever observations of electronic correlations using high harmonic generation. This breakthrough opens new opportunities for investigating electron dynamics on the attosecond timescale.

The researchers behind the discovery used a novel laser source developed at Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) by François Légaré's team from the Energy, Materials and Telecommunications Center of INRS (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique) in collaboration with colleagues from that institution, from National Research Council (NRC) Canada and from the University of Ottawa. The laser source is an ideal tool for high harmonic generation from atoms and molecules.

High harmonic generation spectra obtained through interaction of the laser source with xenon atoms provide information on electronic correlations by highlighting the giant resonance of xenon. In addition, results obtained at ALLS show that the laser source is ideal for developing a soft x-ray beamline that delivers ultrafast x-ray laser pulses down to the nanometer wavelength.

Built on national scientific collaboration, this study was conducted at ALLS by researchers Bruno E. Schmidt, Jean-Claude Kieffer and François Légaré of the Energy, Materials and Telecommunications Center and by Andrew D. Shiner, Carlos Trallero-Herrero, Hans J. Wörner, Serguei Patchkovskii, Paul B. Corkum and David M. Villeneuve of the NRC Canada/University of Ottawa Joint Attosecond Science Laboratory. The group’s results were recently published in Nature Physics.

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A rare gas used in small high-pressure arc lamps to produce a high-intensity source of light closely resembling the color quality of daylight.
Advanced Laser Light SourceAmericasatomsCanadaCommunicationsConsumerelectron dynamicselectronic structuresEnergy Materials and Telecommunications CenterFrançois Légaréhigh harmonic generationimagingINRSmoleculesNRC CanadaResearch & TechnologyUniversity of OttawaXenonlasers

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