Collisional and thermal ionization of sodium Rydberg atoms III. Experiment and theory for nS and nD states with n ≤ 8-20 in crossed atomic beams

I. I. Beterov*, D. B. Tretyakov, I. I. Ryabtsev, N. N. Bezuglov, K. Miculis, Aigars Ekers, A. N. Klucharev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The results of experimental and theoretical studies of collisional ionization of Na Rydberg atoms in nS and nD(n ≤ 8-20) states are presented. Molecular and atomic ions from associative ionization and photoionization by blackbody radiation were detected after pulsed laser excitation of Rydberg states in crossed Na atomic beams. An original method of determination of associative ionization rate constants based on the measurement of ratios of molecular and atomic ion signals was used, which did not require the determination of absolute number density of Rydberg atoms. The measured rate constants of associative ionization of Rydberg atoms in collisions with ground-state Na atoms are compared with the results of our earlier single-beam experiment and theoretical calculations. It is shown that the stochastic ionization model, which describes the collisional ionization of Rydberg atoms in terms of chaotic migration of highly excited electron induced by the motion of the colliding nuclei, yields a significantly better agreement with the experimental results than the earlier Duman-Shmatov-Mihajlov-Janev model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number002
Pages (from-to)4349-4361
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Volume38
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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