The unprecedented high intensities made accessible by the development of ultrashort pulse laser systems have uncovered a host of new phenomena and changed the way that we think about atomic and molecular dynamics. We review these developments in the context of some of the basic models that have evolved to explain them. The successes and limitations of simple semiclassical models of strong-field atomic phenomena are discussed. Photodissociation dynamics have shown a rich complexity in strong fields—bond softening, above-threshold dissociation, coulomb explosion—which we review. The promise of the new laser systems in the field of coherent control of molecular dynamics is also discussed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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