Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Quantum Optical Aspects of High-Harmonic Generation

Version 1 : Received: 16 June 2021 / Approved: 18 June 2021 / Online: 18 June 2021 (16:03:20 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Varró, S. Quantum Optical Aspects of High-Harmonic Generation. Photonics, 2021, 8, 269. Varró, S. Quantum Optical Aspects of High-Harmonic Generation. Photonics, 2021, 8, 269.


The interaction of electrons with strong laser fields is usually treated with semiclassical theory, where the laser is represented by an external field. There are analytic solutions for the free electron wave functions, which incorporate the interaction with the laser field exactly, but the joint effect of the atomic binding potential presents an obstacle for the analysis. Moreover, the radiation is a dynamical system, the number of photons changes during the interactions. Thus, it is legitimate to ask how can one treat the high order processes nonperturbatively, in such a way that the electron-atom interaction and the quantized nature of radiation be simultaneously taken into account? An analytic method is proposed to answer this question in the framework of nonrelativistic quantum electrodynamics. As an application, a quantum optical generalization of the strong-field Kramers-Heisenberg formula is derived for describing high-harmonic generation. Our formalism is suitable to analyse, among various quantal effects, the possible role of arbitrary photon statistics of the incoming field. The present paper is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Dr. Fritz Ehlotzky, who had significantly contributed to the theory of strong-field phenomena over many decades.


generation of high harmonics; attosecond pulses; nonrelativistic quantum electrodynamics; strong laser field–matter interactions; quantum optics; nonclassical photon states


Physical Sciences, Acoustics

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