Adiabatic processes in the ionization of highly excited hydrogen atoms

  • H. P. Breuer
  • M. Holthaus


Adiabatic and non-adiabatic processes in the dynamics of periodically driven quantum systems are studied employing the Floquet picture of quantum mechanics. The validity ofN-niveau approximations in the Floquet theory is investigated. A method is described which allows the separation of fast (periodic) and slow (parametric) time-dependence and which yields a transparent description of the dynamical Landau-Zener mechanism. Using the model of surface-state electrons it is demonstrated that adiabaticity is decisive for the description of ionization experiments on highly excited hydrogen atoms; furthermore, an ionization mechanism based on the sudden onset of Landau-Zener transitions is proposed and shown to yield values for the ionization threshold which are in good agreement with experimental data. The connection to classical mechanics is considered by establishing the semiclassical limit of Floquet dynamics.


03.65 05.45 32.80 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. P. Breuer
    • 1
  • M. Holthaus
    • 1
  1. 1.Physikalisches InstitutUniversität BonnBonn 1Federal Republic of Germany

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