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Using numerical simulations, we show that atomic high order harmonic generation (HHG) with a circularly polarized laser field offers an ideal framework for quantum-classical correspondence in strong field physics. With an appropriate initialization of the system, corresponding to a superposition of ground and excited state(s), simulated HHG spectra display a narrow strip of strong harmonic radiation preceded by a gap of missing harmonics in the lower part of the spectrum. In specific regions of the spectra, HHG tends to lock to circularly polarized harmonic emission. All these properties are shown to be closely related to a set of key classical periodic orbits that organize the recollision dynamics in an intense, circularly polarized field. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics