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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Aug 20;105(8):083002. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Recollisions and correlated double ionization with circularly polarized light.

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  • 1Centre de Physique Théorique, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, Luminy-case 907, F-13288 Marseille cedex 09, France.


It is generally believed that the recollision mechanism of atomic nonsequential double ionization is suppressed in circularly polarized laser fields because the returning electron is unlikely to encounter the core. On the contrary, we find that recollision can and does significantly enhance double ionization, even to the extent of forming a "knee," the signature of the nonsequential process. Using a classical model, we explain two apparently contradictory experiments, the absence of a knee for helium and its presence for magnesium.

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