Research at Department of physics

The research in theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics and laser physics is active since 2000 when the Atomic, molecular and optical physics sub-department was formed. After that, head of this department, Prof. Dr. Dejan Milošević has formed a scientific research group SAMOPHYS (Sarajevo Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics). Presently, this group consists of six professors and many students. This group theoretically investigates atomic and molecular processes driven by strong laser fields. In addition to the development of new theoretical models, the group simulates various experiments in collaborations with many scientific groups from Germany, USA, China, Japan etc. The group possesses a computer cluster which consists of above 100 processors which is used for these simulations.

The scientific research group Samophys investigates interaction of strong laser fields with matter. With the development of Chirped Pulse Amplification technique in 1985 (1/2 of the Nobel prize in Physics 2018 shared Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses") it becomes possible to generate laser fields having the intensity comparable or even higher than the intensity which an electron feels in the parent atom. This enabled discoveries of new unexpected processes.

It should be mentioned that the electrons and photons have played a central role in the scientific and technological revolution of the 20th century. During the last decade, the advance of science and technology has enabled observation of atomic-scale dynamics of electron motion, both in space and time. In the following figure, borrowed from the review article F. Krausz, M. Ivanov, Attosecond physics, Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 163-234 (2009), we can see characteristic length and time scales for structure and dynamics in the microcosm.

As a “child” of the strong-field physics, a new area of science – attoscience – has been born. The science is becoming able to describe electronic motion in atoms, molecules and nanoscale structures, and thus the borders between physics, chemistry, and even biology tend to disappear. On the other hand, the electronic motion is responsible for emission of lights. In particular, emission of coherent light in the form of ultrashort soft x-ray pulses on the attosecond time scale is possible via high-order harmonic generation process.

The research group Samophys investigates strong-laser-field assisted and induced atomic and molecular processes. Samophys has an impressive record of hundreds of published papers and is the best scientific research group in Bosnia and Herzegovina.