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Collisional Excitation Transfer Between the P 2 1 2 and P 2 3 2 Levels in Alkali Atoms

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Abstract

An account of recent work is given by the author and co-workers on the experimental determination of cross sections for excitation transfer between the 2P½ and P2³/ resonance levels in potassium, rubidium and cesium, induced by inelastic collisions with alkali atoms and inert gas atoms in their ground states. Forty values of cross sections were obtained in a series of sensitized fluorescence experiments, in which alkali vapors and vapor–gas mixtures were irradiated with one component of the appropriate alkali resonance doublet, and the relative intensities of both components appearing in the fluorescent light were measured. The experiments indicate that the collisional interaction between an alkali atom in a 2P state and a ground state inert gas atom probably occurs between the inert gas atom and the 2P alkali valence electron which behaves like a quasi-free particle.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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