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European XFEL

In a pioneering experiment at the European XFEL, we found that in 4f rare-earth metals, the optical pump-pulse together with electron scattering processes can affect the 4f electronic state on ultrashort time scales (XFEL annual report 2020 https://www.xfel.eu/news_and_events/news/index_eng.html?openDirectAnchor=1883&two_columns=0).

The 4f electronic state is connected with spin and orbital magnetic momenta that define the coupling of the magnetic system to the environment. Manipulating such parameter on ultrafast timescales gives a new dimension to the discussion about ultrafast magnetic response to optical excitation.