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Physics  2010 

AC-Stark shift and photoionization of Rydberg atoms in an optical dipole trap

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/12/11/113003

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We have measured the AC-Stark shift of the $14D_{5/2}$ Rydberg state of rubidium 87 in an optical dipole trap formed by a focussed CO$_2$-laser. We find good quantitative agreement with the model of a free electron experiencing a ponderomotive potential in the light field. In order to reproduce the observed spectra we take into account the broadening of the Rydberg state due to photoionization. The extracted cross-section is compatible with previous measurements on neighboring Rydberg states.


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