This book is aimed at highlighting the present state of experimental and theoretical studies in the field of atomic and molecular physics. Atomic and molecular physics provides a basis for our understanding of fundamental processes in nature and technology, which is also of interest for applications in other domains, such as solid state physics, chemistry and biology.
In recent years, atomic and molecular physics has undergone a revolutionary change due to tremendous achievements in computing and experimental technique. Now it is possible to study the processes inaccessible before and, in particular, correlated quantum dynamics, i.e., time evolution of a quantum system composed of interacting atoms and molecules. The use of super-computers and novel experimental methods based on laser cooling, femto- and attosecond imaging technique have led to new discoveries in the dynamics of atomic and molecular processes.
The book includes five chapters, chosen to cover advanced directions in the modern atomic and molecular physics. Chapter 1 is devoted to the discussion of newly discovered phenomenon of vortices in electronic wave functions that are solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation. Chapter 2 discusses the interatomic electron transitions in molecular systems, the sources of super-fast decay of these systems. Chapter 3 considers current perspectives on the study of molecular frame photoemission in one- and multiphoton photoionization of small polyatomic molecules. Chapter 4 introduces the reader to the recent achievements in laser cooling of atomic and molecular systems. Chapter 5 reviews experimental methods based on the use of attosecond laser pulses, and their applications.
The primary target audiences of this book are those who are interested in atomic and molecular physics. They include researchers, developers and graduate students. The book could be a useful reference in university courses in atomic and molecular physics.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the authors of the chapters of the book. We would like to thank Prof. Michel Barat for writing foreword, and the Bentham Science Publishers, in particular, Manager Bushra Siddiqui, for their support and efforts.
G. Ogurtsov, D. Dowek