Indexed on: 14 May '03Published on: 14 May '03Published in: Quantum Physics
The outgoing electrons in non-sequential multiple ionization in intense laser fields are strongly correlated. The correlations can be explained within a classical model for interacting electrons in the presence of the external field. Here we extend the previous analysis for two and three electrons to cases with up to eight electrons and identify the saddle configurations that guard the channels for non-sequential multiple ionization. For four and fewer electrons the electrons in the dominant configuration are equivalent, for six and more electrons this is no longer the case. The case of five electrons is marginal, with two almost degenerate transition configurations. The total number of configurations increases rapidly, from 2 configurations for three electrons up to 26 configurations for eight electrons.