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The time-dependent Dirac equation is solved numerically on a space-time grid for an atom in a strong static magnetic field and a laser field. The resonantly induced relativistic motion of the atomic electron leads to a ringlike spatial probability density similar to the features that have been recently predicted [Wagner, Su, and Grobe, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 3282 (2000)] based on a phase-space method. We further demonstrate that spin-orbit coupling for a fast-moving electron in such an atom becomes significant and the time dependence of the spin can dephase even if initially aligned parallel to the direction of the static magnetic field.


Originally published in Physical Review A by the American Physical Society.