Abstract

Second-harmonic generation in atomic hydrogen is investigated with and without an applied electric field, by tuning laser radiation at 243.1 nm through the 2 2S1/2−1 2S1/2 two-photon resonance. Even at zero applied field, second-harmonic radiation at 121.6 nm was observed. The measured intensity is shown to arise from a charge-separation field caused by ions produced in three-photon ionization. The magnitude of this field is in good agreement with a calculated value based on the measured ion density.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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