Hugo van der Hart is a reader in the School of Mathematics and Physics,working in the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. He has been working at Queen's University Belfast since 1999. Prior to this, he has been working as a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Oxford and JILA. From 1994 to 1996, he was a Marie Curie Fellow at QUB. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Amsterdam, and M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Leiden.
His main research interest is the behaviour of multi-electron atoms in intense light fields. He is developing and applying two different computational techniques to these problems: the R-matrix-Floquet approach and the time-dependent R-matrix approach.
The R-matrix-Floquet approach is a computational technique for the description of atoms irradiated by long laser pulses. Since the approach is capable of describing the response of inner atomic electrons to the laser field as well as the response of outer electrons, it is one of the few approaches capable of describing inner-shell multiphoton ionization processes. The approach was also among the first ones applied to study two-photon double ionization of helium. These two multiphoton processes are examples of processes that have recently become accessible to experimental investigation, for example using X-ray free-electron laser sources.
The time-dependent R-matrix approach has recently been developed to describe atoms irradiated by ultra-short light pulses. As a first test of this approach, it has been applied to multiphoton ionization of Ar using 390 nm laser light. Excellent agreement with other theoretical results demonstrates the excellent accuracy of the approach.
A common thread to his research has been the use of B-spline basis sets. These basis sets have proven to be extremely valuable in theoretical atomic physics, since they significantly enhance the accuracy of theoretical calculations.
He has been a member of Collaborative Computational Project 2 (CCP2) since 2004.