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Physics  2006 

Determination of the Rb ng-series quantum defect by electric-field-induced resonant energy transfer between cold Rydberg atoms

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.74.062712

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Resonant energy transfer between cold Rydberg atoms was used to determine Rydberg atom energy levels, at precisions approaching those obtainable in microwave spectroscopy. Laser cooled Rb atoms from a magneto-optical trap were optically excited to 32d Rydberg states. The two-atom process 32d(j=5/2) + 32d(j=5/2) -> 34p(j=3/2) + 30g is resonant at an electric field of approximately 0.3 V/cm. This process is driven by the electric dipole-dipole interaction, which is allowed due to the partial f character that the g state acquires in an electric field. The experimentally observed resonant field, together with the Stark map calculation is used to make a determination of the Rb ng-series quantum defect: delta_g (n=30) = 0.00405(6).


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