About the Becker Group
Our research interests are related to the theory of ultrafast processes in atoms, molecules and nanostructures induced, observed and controlled by ultrashort intense laser pulses. Electric field strengths of such laser pulses can exceed those of the Coulomb fields within an atom or molecule while the pulse durations are as short as a few femtoseconds (10-15 s) or even shorter in the attosecond regime (1 as = 10-18 s). Laser frequencies range from the far-infrared through the optical to the soft x-ray region.
The quest for studying ultrafast dynamics in matter has driven the development of laser pulses with ultrashort pulse durations. Currently, the shortest pulses have duration of a few tens of attoseconds (1 as = 10-18 s). We study the application of such pulses to image electron dynamics in atoms and molecules.
It is nowadays possible to generate laser pulses at wavelengths spanning the whole regime from deep-ultraviolet to midinfrared wavelengths. Moreover, control over pulse duration, carrier envelope phase and polarization has been achieved. We explore the application of this laser light for fundamental processes such as ionization, high harmonic generation etc.
In the Spotlight
JILA Fellow Andreas Becker is one of the 11 University of Colorado Boulder faculty to be awarded a 2021 Distinguished Professor title. CU Distinguished Professors are tenured faculty members who give outstanding work in research or creative work and have a reputation of excellence in promoting learning and student engagement in the research process as well as dedicated to the profession, the university, and its affiliates.
JILA graduate students Tyler McMaken, Ran Brynn Reiff, and Julia Cline all win the 2020 CU Physics Department TA awards
Three JILA Fellows have been named 2018 Fellows of the American Physical Society. The three new Fellows—Andreas Becker, Heather J. Lewandowski, and James K. Thompson—were nominated from varying divisions of APS. Andreas Becker was nominated by the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical physics for his contributions to the understanding of the behavior of atoms and molecules in intense light fields, including seminal theoretical studies of attosecond dynamics, photoionization, complex electron dynamics in simple systems such as H2, and a better understanding of high-harmonic generation.