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Attosecond Physics



#20754 / #1

Seit WS 2020/21

Fakultät II

EW 3-1

Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik

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Smirnova, Olga

Smirnova, Olga

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Learning Outcomes

The student will learn the fundamentals of the highly nonlinear atomic and molecular response to intense light and the new physical processes that emerge, such as optical tunneling, high harmonic generation, highly efficient energy absorption by atoms and molecules, the application of strong laser fields to imaging molecular structures and dynamics. Through lectures, extensive hands-on exercises and projects the students will learn both the key physical concepts and theoretical tools including time-dependent quantum mechanics and wavepacket dynamics, Keldysh theory and strong-field S-matrix methods, time-dependent semiclassical methods and quantum trajectories, Kramers-Henneberger approach, methods for the numerical solution of the time-dependent Schroedinger equation in strong laser fields, and the applications of quantum chemistry methods to time-dependent molecular response including non-Hermitian quantum mechanics. At the end of the course, the students will be able to competently apply the above theoretical tools to analyse and design the experiments aimed at imaging electron dynamics in atoms and molecules.


Nonlinear light-matter interaction: from one-photon to multi-photon processes. Electronic response to strong low-frequency fields: optical tunnelling and the Keldysh formalism. Above threshold ionization and related phenomena. Electron motion after strong-field ionization and its consequences: high harmonic generation, laser-induced electron diffraction and holography, correlated multi-electron processes. Ionization in circularly polarized fields and generation of attosecond spin-polarized electron beams. Attoclock and the tunnelling time problem. High harmonic spectroscopy in atoms and molecules: combining sub-angstrom spatial and sub-femtosecond temporal resolution. Generation and characterization of attosecond pulses and pulse trains. Time-resolved spectroscopy of electron dynamics using attosecond pulses. Ultrafast chirality: inducing and detecting electron currents in chiral molecules, extremely efficient chiral discrimination of molecules. Evolution of attosecond spectroscopy from atoms and molecules to solids: towards all-optical imaging of topological properties and phase transitions.

Module Components


All Courses are mandatory.

Course Name Type Number Cycle Language SWS
Attosecond Physics VL 3237 L 10913 SS English 4
Attosecond Physics UE 3237 L 1091 SS English 2

Workload and Credit Points

Attosecond Physics (VL):

Workload description Multiplier Hours Total
Attendance 15.0 4.0h 60.0h
Pre/post processing 15.0 8.0h 120.0h
180.0h(~6 LP)

Attosecond Physics (UE):

Workload description Multiplier Hours Total
Attendance 15.0 2.0h 30.0h
Pre/post processing 15.0 4.0h 60.0h
90.0h(~3 LP)
The Workload of the module sums up to 270.0 Hours. Therefore the module contains 9 Credits.

Description of Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures with exercises/projects

Requirements for participation and examination

Desirable prerequisites for participation in the courses:

Theoretical Physics I+II (classical and quantum mechanics)

Mandatory requirements for the module test application:

1. Requirement:
Leistungsnachweis Attosecond Physics

Module completion



Type of exam

Oral exam




30 minutes

Duration of the Module

This module can be completed in one semester.

Maximum Number of Participants

This module is not limited to a number of students.

Registration Procedures

Oral exams are registered via the electronic registration system after making an appointment with the examiner.

Recommended reading, Lecture notes

Lecture notes

Availability:  unavailable

Electronical lecture notes

Availability:  available


Recommended literature
Attosecond and XUV Physics: Ultrafast Dynamics and Spectroscopy, Editors: Thomas Schultz, Marc Vrakking
Chang, Zenghu. Fundamentals of attosecond optics. CRC press, 2016.
F Krausz, M Ivanov, Reviews of Modern Physics 81 (1), 163, 2009

Assigned Degree Programs

This moduleversion is used in the following modulelists:

Verwendungen (4)
Studiengänge: 1 Stupos: 1 Erstes Semester: SoSe 2021 Letztes Semester: SoSe 2021
(1) This module with 9 ETCS points can be chosen as "Experimentelles Wahlpflichtfach" (summer semester) (2) It can be combined with the module "Intermolecular Forces" (3 ETCS) or "Advanced Atomic Physics" (3 ETCS) in winter semester resulting in the Experimentelle Wahlpflichtfach "Advanced atomic and molecular physics" (12 ETCS in total)


The module will preferentially be taught in English.