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Physics Colloquium on Molecules Exposed to Intense Laser Fields

March 3, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University’s physics department will host a 4 p.m. colloquium by Pengqian Wang, research associate for the J. R. MacDonald Laboratory at Kansas State University, Tuesday, March 7 in Currens Hall 205. Wang will present “Molecular Dynamics in Intense Laser Fields.”

According to Wang, when a free molecule is exposed to an intense laser field several things can happen such as laser-induced dissociation, or breaking up into simpler components. What happens to the molecule depends on the intensity and duration of the laser pulses.

“We recently developed a coincidence 3-dimensional momentum imaging method to explore the dynamics of molecular ions in intense laser fields,” he said.

Wang argues that by interrogating H2+, HD+ and O2+ molecular ions with ultrashort, intense laser pulses, researchers can better understand bond softening, bond hardening, above threshold dissociation, enhanced ionization and the identification of dissociation pathways.

Wang received his Ph.D. in Physics (1998) from Peking University, China. He has held appointed positions at Riken Lab, Japan; Max Plank Institute; and the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Currently, he is investigating the properties of molecular ion dynamics in intense laser fields at the J. R. MacDonald Labratory.

This event is open free to the public.

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