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Misha Ivanov

Mikhail Ivanov

Organization: Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics, Max-Born Str. 2A, D-12489 Berlin, Germany

Abstract title: Attosecond Science: Back to the Quantum Future

Abstract resume:

This presentation aims to discuss the past, the present, and the future of attosecond science. I will start by briefly reminding the audience the quantum strong-field theory developed by the hard-core Soviet theorists in mid-60th of the last century.  Who would have ever thought that its complex, intricate, and nearly impenetrable mathematics could degenerate into the classical three-step model of utmost simplicity? 

Now that the three-step model has propelled the experimental technology to the 2023 Physics Nobel prize, it is high time for us, theorists, to take back the reigns.

I will try to convince my fellow experimentalists that the seemingly simple and convincingly classical high harmonic generation can be turned into a major quantum enterprise with the help of ordinary mirrors, a smart choice of a medium, and off-the-shelf lasers.

There is no dispute that, at the fundamental level, full description of light-matter interaction requires quantum treatment of both matter and light. However, for off-the-shelf light sources generating intense laser pulses with millions of billions of photons, the usual classical description of light during intense laser-matter interaction is generally expected to be adequate.  
The goal of this talk is to show how the nonlinear optical response of matter can be controlled to generate dramatic deviations from this standard picture. I will identify new routes to generating nontrivial quantum states of the nonlinear optical response, even when starting with the maximally classical incident light, i.e. a standard laser pulse in a simple coherent state. I will focus on the situation where the nonlinear medium is resonant or near-resonant with at least one of the harmonic frequencies generated via the nonlinear optical response. Our analysis demonstrates the generation of high harmonics of the incident laser light entangled across multiple octaves, from the infrared (IR) to the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) range. 

This talk will therefore stress the remarkable opportunities for the future arising at the interface of attosecond physics, quantum optics and quantum information science.

About the speaker:

Prof. Misha Ivanov is the Head of Theory Department at the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy in Berlin, Germany and is a full professor of physics at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He also holds guest professorship appointments in Electrical Engineering at the Technion and in Physics at the Imperial College London. He is well known for his research in Attosecond Science, for which he was awarded the Rurherford Medal - Physics of the Royal Society of Canada and the Bessel Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2022 he was elected Member of the Academia Europea.