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22 I. Barth and J. Manz 2.1 Introduction

Summary: ,
22 I. Barth and J. Manz
2.1 Introduction
Recent quantum dynamics simulations predict that circularly polarized laser pulses
may induce stationary ring currents or time-dependent charge circulations in model
systems, with applications from the hydrogen atom or one-electron atomic ions
[1, 2] to molecules [313], see also [14, 15], circular carbon clusters [16], nano-
rings [1720], and nanotubes [21]; for pioneering applications to Rydberg states
see [2227]. These ring currents and charge circulations in turn induce stationary
[2, 4, 79, 28] and time-dependent [28] magnetic fields in the model systems,
respectively. From a theoretical perspective, a stationary ring current is described
in terms of a single complex stationary degenerate eigenfunction of the system,
carrying angular momentum; different eigenstates correspond to different ring cur-
rents and, therefore, to different induced stationary magnetic fields [28]. As a rule,
the corresponding stationary densities and charge distributions often have typical
toroidal or near-toroidal shapes [2, 79, 11, 28]; exceptions from this rule (e.g.,
for ring-shaped molecules) are documented in [4, 28], see also Fig. 2.3b below.
Recently, this characteristic signature has been observed experimentally in ionized
states of atoms induced by well-designed circularly polarized laser pulses [29]. In
contrast, charge circulations, i.e., non-stationary ring currents, are represented by


Source: Ahlers, Guenter - Department of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Physics