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George N. Gibson, Ph.D.

Our group has been studying the behavior of molecules in strong laser fields for many years, using a variety of techniques. Molecules display a much great range of phenomena in intense laser fields due to their extra degrees of freedom and their complex orbital structure. We are most interested in the fact that the strong laser field can produce rotational, vibrational, and electronic excitation of a molecule. We have focused on diatomic molecules, due to either simplicity and have found electronic states populated that are 30 eV above the ground state. The population of these very high-lying levels suggest that high-order multiphoton process must be occuring. More recently, we have found that we can produce large-amplitude coherent vibrational motion in room temperature molecules through "R-selective" ionization.

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Funding for this work has been provided by the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, and the University of Connecticut.