Landmark paper on circularly polarised attosecond laser pulses

Last updated May 30, 2017 by Andrew Brown

Circularly Polarised Attosecond Pulses

A landmark paper in the field of strong field attosecond physics has been published by CTAMOP researchers.

Lukas Medisauskas, a PhD student of Prof. Mikhail Ivanov at the Max Born Institut in Berlin visited CTAMOP in early 2015 to work with Prof. Hugo van der Hart on the problem, and was ably assisted in the development of a new computer code by Jack Wragg.

The paper represents a key breakthrough in the theory of attosecond light-pulse generation. Linearly polarised attosecond pulses can be produced even with table top laser sources using high harmonic generation. For visible and IR lasers, crystals can be used to alter the polarisation, but no such materials exist for the high-energy, ultrashort pulses routinely used for precision measurements of attosecond-scale dynamics.

Prof. Ivanov recently visited the department to deliver the Bates lectures, and commented on the suprising nature of the project.

“When I first saw the results I said, ‘This is a mistake… You must go to Belfast and write a new code.’ But when two different codes give you the exact same result, you realise it must not be a mistake.”.

Congratulations to Jack and Hugo- and their collaborators Lukas and Misha- on yet another excellent publication, which is sure to have a significant impact on the global scale.


We are a Research Cluster of the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. Our research interests are focused primarily on computational and theoretical physics.

Old Physics Building

The Old Physics Building,
where CTAMOP is situated.