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The fractal structure in the ionization dynamics of Rydberg lithium atoms in a static electric field

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The ionization rate of Rydberg lithium atoms in a static electric field is examined within semiclassical theory which involves scattering effects off the core. By semiclassical analysis, this ionization process can be considered as the promoted valence electrons escaping through the Stark saddle point into the ionization channels. The resulting escape spectrum of the ejected electrons demonstrates a remarkable irregular electron pulse train in time-dependence and a complicated nesting structure with respect to the initial launching angles. Based on the Poincaré} map and homoclinic tangle approach, the chaotic behaviour along with its corresponding fractal self-similar structure of the ionization spectra are analysed in detail. Our work is significant for understanding the quantum-classical correspondence.


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