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The laser-induced demagnetization of a ferromagnet is caused by the temperature of the electron gas as well as the lattice temperature. For long excitation pulses, the two reservoirs are in thermal equilibrium. In contrast to a picosecond laser pulse, a femtosecond pulse causes a non-equilibrium between the electron gas and the lattice. By pump pulse length dependent optical measurements, we find that the magnetodynamics in Ni caused by a picosecond laser pulse can be reconstructed from the response to a femtosecond pulse. The mechanism responsible for demagnetization on the picosecond time scale is therefore contained in the femtosecond demagnetization experiment.


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