Electronic recollisions in a strong laser field
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Unusual and challenging ionization processes take place when an atom or molecule is placed in the presence of a super intense, ultra short laser field. One such process is the ionization and subsequent return of an electron to the ionic core. The electron carries with it the energy it has absorbed from the laser field and this energy drives different atomic phenomena such as high harmonic generation or multiple ionization. The mechanism of the electron return is often referred to as the “three-step” model. In this model, an electron is first ionized at the peak amplitude of the laser field. Once ionized, a change in the direction of the laser field forces the electron to return to the parent ion and causes a subsequent recollision. The purpose of this thesis is to examine in great detail the recollision process, its mechanisms, and its dependence on physical parameters (such as laser intensity and ellipticity) for a number of physically interesting scenarios.