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We report measurements of high-order harmonic spectra obtained with a 800-nm 150-fs laser pulse with a time-varying degree of ellipticity. The modulation of the polarization in time is achieved by using birefringent optics and self-phase modulation in a glass plate. We can create one or two temporal gates of a few femtoseconds width, during which the polarization is linear and harmonic emission is efficient. The harmonic spectra observed experimentally demonstrate that harmonics generated with linear polarization are frequency chirped. The values measured experimentally are consistent with theoretical predictions based on the strong field approximation. © 1998 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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