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High-order alloharmonics produced by nonperiodic drivers
preprintposted on 2023-06-08, 13:06 authored by M. S. Pirozhkova, K. Ogura, A. Sagisaka, T. Zh. Esirkepov, A. Ya. Faenov, T. A. Pikuz, H. Kotaki, Y. Hayashi, Y. Fukuda, J. K. Koga, S. V. Bulanov, H. Daido, N. Hasegawa, M. Ishino, M. Nishikino, M. Koike, T. Kawachi, H. Kiriyama, M. Kando, D. Neely, A. S. Pirozhkov
High-order harmonics are ubiquitous in nature and present in electromagnetic, acoustic, and gravitational waves. They are generated by periodic nonlinear processes or periodic high-frequency pulses. However, this periodicity is often inexact, such as that in chirped (frequency-swept) optical waveforms or interactions with nonstationary matter -- for instance, reflection from accelerating mirrors. Spectra observed in such cases contain complicated sets of harmonic-like fringes. We encountered such fringes in our experiment on coherent extreme ultraviolet generation via BISER, and could not interpret them using currently available knowledge. Here, we present a comprehensive theory based on interference of harmonics with different orders fully explaining the formation of these fringes, which we call alloharmonics. Like atomic spectra, the complex alloharmonic spectra depend on several integer numbers and bear a unique imprint of the emission process, which the theory can decipher, avoiding confusion or misinterpretation. We also demonstrate the alloharmonics in simulations of gravitational waves emitted by binary black hole mergers. Further, we predict the presence of alloharmonics in the radio spectra of pulsars and in optical frequency combs, and propose their use for measurement of extremely small accelerations necessary for testing gravity theories. The alloharmonics phenomenon generalizes classical harmonics and is critical in research fields such as laser mode locking, frequency comb generation, attosecond pulse generation, pulsar studies, and future gravitational wave spectroscopy.