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We analyze the dynamics of a valence electron of the buckminsterfullerene molecule (C 60) subjected to a circularly polarized laser field by modeling it with the motion of a classical particle in an annular billiard. We show that the phase space of the billiard model gives rise to three distinct trajectories: "whispering gallery orbits," which hit only the outer billiard wall; "daisy orbits," which hit both billiard walls (while rotating solely clockwise or counterclockwise for all time); and orbits that only visit the downfield part of the billiard, as measured relative to the laser term. These trajectories, in general, maintain their distinct features, even as the intensity is increased from 1010 to 1014Wcm -2. We attribute this robust separation of phase space to the existence of twistless tori. © 2012 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics