We report detailed measurements of the high-harmonic spectra generated from argon atoms. The spectra exhibit a deep minimum that is shown to be independent of the laser intensity, and is thus a clear measure of the electronic structure of the atom. We show that exact field-free continuum wave functions reproduce the minimum, but plane wave and Coulomb wave functions do not. This remarkable observation suggests that electronic structure can be accurately determined in high-harmonic experiments despite the presence of the strong laser field. Our results clarify the relation between high-harmonic generation and photoelectron spectroscopy. The use of exact continuum functions also resolves the ambiguity associated with the choice of the dispersion relation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)