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Howard R. Reiss

ETH-FAST Fellow from 1 September 2011 to 30 March 2012

Howardreiss_mbiphoto321   Prof. Dr. Howard Reiss

Scientific Collaboration at ETH

I am generally the resource person on the foundations of strong-field physics. (A paper of mine in 1962 started the discipline of Strong-Field Physics, and a 1980 paper established the well-known Strong-Field Approximation, a widely used nonperturbative analytical method. I am under contract with Wiley Publishers to produce a textbook on the subject.) Probably the most important new result obtained while at ETH is the demonstration that gauge invariance, generally regarded as a formality that has little practical relevance, is actually of great significance for the understanding of strong-field physical phenomena, especially at low frequencies. This research has resulted in a fundamental extension of the requirements for gauge invariance. A practical consequence is the conclusion that the widely used tunneling picture for atomic ionization will fail badly when long-wavelength lasers are used.

Quantum Mechanics without perturbation Theory (PDF, 957 KB) - November 15, 2011
Electrodynamics for Strong Fields (PDF, 1.26 MB) - November 29, 2011
Resolution of a Basic Ambiguity in Strong-Field Electrodynamics (PDF, 3.86 MB) - March 6, 2012

Scientific Collaboration at PSI

My activities at PSI are concentrated on the project to demonstrate that certain types of nuclear radioactivity can be significantly altered by the appropriate application of strong fields of very low frequency. The method requires the presence of a ponderomotive potential that is as large as the rest energy of an electron. The possibility of finding practical application of the idea for disposal of high-level fission wastes or for production of primary energy is the motive for the additional demands that large quantities of radioactive materials at solid density can be processed on a continuous (as opposed to pulsed) basis. A scheme by which all these requirements can be met has been proposed, supported by theoretical calculations. In collaboration with a PSI group (Klaus Kirch, Rugard Dressler, Aldo Antognini, Stefan Ritt, Petrissa Eckle, Marcos Gaspar, Raphael Blaser), an experimental program has been organized for late April and early May to establish “Proof-of-Principle”.

Prof. Dr. Howard R. Reiss
ETHZ Hönggerberg - IQE/ULP - HPT E4
Phone: +41 44 633 21 72

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