Radiative lifetime measurements of rubidium Rydberg states

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Radiative lifetime measurements of rubidium Rydberg states

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Title: Radiative lifetime measurements of rubidium Rydberg states
Author: Branden, D. B.; Juhasz, T.; Mahlokozera, T.; Vesa, C.; Wilson, R. O.; Zheng, M.; Kortyna, Andrew; Tate, D. A.
Abstract: We have measured the radiative lifetimes of ns, np and nd Rydberg states of rubidium in the range 28 <= n <= 45. To enable long-lived states to be measured, our experiment uses slow-moving (similar to 100 mu K) (85)Rb atoms in a magneto-optical trap (MOT). Two experimental techniques have been adopted to reduce random and systematic errors. First, a narrow-bandwidth pulsed laser is used to excite the target nl Rydberg state, resulting in minimal shot-to-shot variation in the initial state population. Second, we monitor the target state population as a function of time delay from the laser pulse using a short-duration, millimetre-wave pulse that is resonant with a one-or two-photon transition to a higher energy 'monitor state', n'l'. We then selectively field ionize the monitor state, and detect the resulting electrons with a micro-channel plate. This signal is an accurate mirror of the nl target state population, and is uncontaminated by contributions from other states which are populated by black body radiation. Our results are generally consistent with other recent experimental results obtained using a method which is more prone to systematic error, and are also in excellent agreement with theory.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10385/1037
Date: 2010

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