We present the first measurement of the ionization rate from above-threshold ionization (ATI) in an optical field whose phase dependence is known and controllable. Our method uses a harmonic two-color light field with a calibrated phase difference between the 1w and 2w fields. Our measurements confirm many of the predictions of recent semiclassical theories, but show an important discrepancy: An asymmetry in the ATI rates relative to the sign of the two-color phase difference supports recently suggested modifications to the models to include electron-core rescattering during ionization.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Schumacher, D. W., Weihe, F., Muller, H. G., & Bucksbaum, P. H. (1994). Phase dependence of intense field ionization: a study using two colors. Phys.Rev.Lett., 73, 1344–1347.