In 1964 Keldysh helped lay the foundations of strong-field physics by introducing a theoretical framework that characterized atomic ionization as a process that evolves with the intensity and wavelength of the fundamental field. Within this context, experiments have examined the intensity-dependent ionization but, except for a few cases, technological limitations have confined the majority to wavelengths below 1 mum. The development of intense, ultrafast laser sources in the mid-infrared (1 mum<lambda<5 mum) region enables exploration of the wavelength scaling of the Keldysh picture while enabling new opportunities in strong-field physics, control of electronic motion and attosecond science. Here we report a systematic experimental investigation of the wavelength scaling in this region by concurrently analysing the production of energetic electrons and photons emitted by argon atoms interacting with few-cycle, mid-infrared fields. The results support the implicit predictions contained in Keldysh's work, and pave the way to the realization of brighter and shorter attosecond pulsed light sources using longer-wavelength driving fields

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys914
Journal Nature Phys.
Citation
Colosimo, P, Doumy, G, Blaga, C. I, Wheeler, J, Hauri, C, Catoire, F, … DiMauro, L. F. (2008). Scaling strong-field interactions towards the classical limit. Nature Phys., 4, 386–389. doi:10.1038/nphys914