Experimental fine-structure branching ratios for Na-rare-gas optical collisions

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Physical Review A, ISSN: 1050-2947, Vol: 34, Issue: 4, Page: 2758-2766

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Havey, Mark D.; Delahanty, F. T.; Vahala, Linda L.; Copeland, Gary E.
American Physical Society (APS)
Physics and Astronomy; Argon; Atom-atom collisions; Atomic fine structure; Atomic fluorescence; Helium atoms; Krypton; Neon; Sodium; Xenon; Biological and Chemical Physics; Physics
article description
Experimental ratios for branching into the fine-structure levels of the Na 3p multiplet, as a consequence of an optical collision with He, Ne, Ar, Kr, or Xe, are reported. The process studied is Na(3s S1/22)+scrR+nhν→ Na(3p Pj2)+scrR+(n-1)hν, where scrR represents a rare-gas atom and where the laser frequency ν is tuned in the wings of the Na resonance transitions. The branching ratios are defined as I(D1)/I(D2) where I(D1) and I(D2) are measured intensities of the atomic Na D1 and D2 lines. The ratios are determined for detunings ranging from about 650 cm-1 in the blue wing to 170 cm-1 in the red wing of the Na 3p multiplet. The branching is found to be strongly detuning dependent in the vicinity of the NaAr, NaKr, and NaXe near-red-wing satellites. The blue-wing branching ratios show a detuning-dependent approach to a recoil, or sudden statistical, limit of 0.5, irrespective of the rare gas. Fine-structure changing cross sections have also been measured for resonant excitation of the Na 3p Pj2 state; the results are consistent with cross sections obtained from wing excitation. © 1986 The American Physical Society.