Non-Hermitian Dynamics of Multiphoton Ionization
The time evolution of a multiphoton ionization process may be analyzed from a variety of viewpoints, the suitability of any particular one being determined in large measure by the relative time scales among various competing effects. In a process such as multiphoton ionization by intense coherent light, the ionizing state may well also retain coherence over practically the entire time of passage of the ionizing light pulse. In this situation, where the ionization is much more rapid than, for example, spontaneous emission of a photon, a hamiltonian formulation of the dynamics may be appropriate. As we shall indicate, such a formulation may facilitate certain aspects of the analysis. In addition, the non-hermitian hamiltonian formalism described here has intrinsic theoretical interest.
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