Abstract

We have studied population trapping in a one-dimensional model atom interacting with a short-pulse high-intensity laser, using Floquet analysis and direct numerical integration of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for a range of peak pulse intensities. We find that photoelectrons are efficiently produced only by pulses whose peak intensities lie in a narrow range around the resonant intensity for a given intermediate state. Excited-state populations, however, are generated with comparable efficiencies for all pulses whose peak intensities exceed the resonant intensity. This implies that, for a realistic laser pulse with an inhomogeneous spatial distribution of intensity, excited atoms are generated throughout a larger volume than are photoelectrons. Interpretations of recent experiments are reexamined in light of this result.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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