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Hofmann, C.; Zimmermann, T.; Zielinski, A.; Landsman, A. S. (2016): Non-adiabatic imprints on the electron wave packet in strong field ionization with circular polarization. In: New Journal of Physics, Vol. 18, 043011


The validity of the adiabatic approximation in strong field ionization under typical experimental conditions has recently become a topic of great interest. Experimental results have been inconclusive, in part, due to the uncertainty in experimental calibration of intensity. Here we turn to the time dependent Schrodinger equation, where all the laser parameters are known exactly. We find that the centre of the electron momentum distribution (typically used for calibration of elliptically and circularly polarized light) is sensitive to non-adiabatic effects, leading to intensity shifts in experimental data that can significantly affect the interpretation of results. On the other hand, the transverse momentum spread in the plane of polarization is relatively insensitive to such effects, even in the Keldysh parameter regime approaching gamma approximate to 3. This suggests the transverse momentum spread in the plane of polarization as a good alternative to the usual calibration method, particularly for experimental investigation of non-adiabatic effects using circularly polarized light.