Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics
In atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics scientists study the structure and dynamics of atoms, ions, and molecules during their interactions with elementary particles, and light. Processes involving atoms and molecules are considered ultrafast, in that they occur on a femtosecond (fs) timescale or shorter (1 fs = 10-15, or one-thousand-trillionth of a second). The frontier in ultrafast physics is the study of the motion of electrons bound inside the atom, in orbits close to the nucleus. This new scale is defined by the time it takes the electron in the innermost orbit of the hydrogen atom to complete one turn around the nucleus. The period of this orbit is 24´ 10-18 seconds, or 24 attoseconds ((1 attosecond = 10-18 s).Therefore, to be able to track attosecond atomic and electronic dynamics it is inevitable to use a probe on the same scale of the electron’s period around the nucleus, such as light pulses of attosecond duration. Using state-of-the-art newly-developed lasers, real time movies of electron and atoms during light-matter interactions, have been recently achieved with subfemtsecond and attosecond resolution. Work in AMO field has been recognized by several Nobel prizes in the past two decades alone.
AMO physicists at AUS are currently involved in many exciting experimental and theoretical projects to reveal the electron-electron correlations and the dynamics of atoms and molecules and solid targets when they interact with incident electrons, photons and atomic and molecular ions. The experimentalists among them have access to first class laboratories in the US, Germany and Canada, while theorists work in collaboration with highly-regarded groups in Germany, China and the US, with access to impressive computing facilities. The research of the AMO physicists at AUS has appeared in the most prestigious science journals like those published by the Nature Publishing group, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics in the UK; and has been featured in many local and international news outlets.
1- Prof. Ali Alnaser
Our research interests are centered around the use of ultra-strong lasers in photographing and manipulating experimentally the structure of matter on extremely short time scale. We use ultrashort laser pulses, of few femtosecond durations, to probe and steer chemical bonds in simple and polyatomic molecules . Our recent studies have led to novel ultrafast laser-synthesis of chemical products that could not be produced by other traditional synthesis means. Additionally, one of the most intriguing applications that we pursue in our recent research is to discover new characteristics and ultrafast dynamics in nanoparticles and nanostructures when interrogated with the newly-developed intense ultra-short lasers. Our latest research has been conducted in collaboration with scientists from the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany, the Advanced Laser Light Source in Canada, and the Centre for Quantum Dynamics in Australia. Other research projects are currently being explored with scientists at the Shanghai Institute for Optics and Fine Mechanics –Chinese Academy of sciences; and with others at the Institute of optics at the University of Rochester in the US.
2- Prof. Asad Hassan
My research is focused on the experimental study of heavy-ion reactions; a study of the formation, equilibration and the deexcitation processes of the compound nucleus formed in fusion-fission collisions, and a study of atomic and molecular interactions; and a study of charge-transfer processes of recoil ions in slow collisions with molecular gases, where single-electron capture processes are the dominant reaction channels.
3- Prof. Yousef Salamin
I am currently perfecting analytic expressions for the fields of ultra-short and tightly-focused laser pulses, of the linearly- and radially-polarized varieties, propagating in vacuum and in an under-dense plasma. At the same time, I am using my own equations in massive computations in the field of laser-acceleration of electrons and ions for industrial and medical applications. Collaborators of mine (postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) at Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (in Heidelberg, Germany) and Xi'an Jiatong University (in China) are using the equations in particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations to study laser-plasma interactions and the possibility to generate gamma rays from colliding laser pulses with counter-propagating electron bunches.
4- Dr. Shahin Abdel Naby
My research is focused on studying collision problems related to fusion and astrophysics applications. Recent research work includes studying electron impact ionization, dielectronic recombination, and single and double photoionization problems in support of many experiments such as CRYRING, the Free-Electron Laser in Hamburg (FLASH) and Elettra storage ring. In my calculations, I use many useful atomic codes such as HF, AUTOSTRUCTURE, and R-Matrix. The single and double photoionization processes are handled by the Time Dependent Close Coupling Method.