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HMC Undergraduate

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Physics (HMC)

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Second-harmonic radiation is generated at a gold surface by use of a laser pulse that is varied in duration from 14 to 29 fs and in intensity from 109 to 1011W/cm2 . At laser intensities below 1010W/cm2 , the second-harmonic signal has the expected quadratic dependence on pump-laser intensity; however, at higher intensities, the dependence is supraquadratic. This difference arises because the leading edge of the laser pulse interacts significantly with the gold electrons to create a nonequilibrium, photoexcited distribution. The second-harmonic generation process occurs before electron–electron or electron–phonon collisions can equilibrate the distribution and therefore serves as a probe of the nonequilibrium distribution.


This paper was published in Optics Letters and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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© 1999 Optical Society of America

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