We present a quantum mechanical model to study the ionization of quasione dimensional Rydberg atoms interacting with half-cycle pulses (HCPs) and use it to demonstrate the inadequacy of semiclassical approaches to calculate ionization probabilities of such atoms subject to the impact of more than one HCP. For a single-kicked atom both models correctly reproduce the experimentally observed ‘s-curve’ as can be seen by plotting the ionization probability $P$ as a function of momentum transfer $q_1$.We demonstrate that for a twice-kicked atom, the semiclassical model yields numbers for $P$ which are not physically realizable. For fixed values of momentum transfers $q_1$and $q_2$, in a twice-kicked atom, the ionization probability as a function of time delay between the kicks exhibits periodic decay and revival. The results of the semiclassical approach appear to agree with the quantum mechanical values at the times of revival of P, else these show considerable deviation. We attempt to provide a physical explanation for the limitation of the semiclassical approach.
Volume 95, 2021
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