Time-dependent theory of non-Hermitian Schrodinger equation: Application to multiphoton-induced ionisation decay of atoms

F. H.M. Faisal, J. V. Moloney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

A rigorous and practical time-dependent formulation of quantum decay processes is obtained by converting the Hermitian Schrodinger problem into an equivalent non-Hermitian Schrodinger equation. The properties of the original Hermitian and the reduced non-Hermitian Hamiltonians are compared and the non-Hermitian formulation is shown to be consistent with the theorem of Fock and Krylov for the description of truly decaying states. A self-consistent non-unitary algorithm is developed and used to obtain expressions for the time-dependent transition amplitudes of interest; they automatically preserve the total probability in the sum space at all future times tau >0. The formalism is coded for application to the important problem of ionisation decay of a ground-state hydrogen atom coupled to a strong radiation field with a sub-threshold photon frequency. The first quantitative information on the time dependence of two- and three-photon (resonant and non-resonant) ionisation of the hydrogen atom is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012
Pages (from-to)3603-3620
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular Physics
Volume14
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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