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Formation of Rydberg Atoms in an Expanding Ultracold Neutral Plasma



M J. Lim, T C. Killian, S Kulin, R Dumke, S Bergeson, S L. Rolston


We study the formation of Rydberg atoms in expanding plasmas at temperatures of 1-1000K and densities from 10^5 - 10^10 cm^-3. Up to 20% of the initially free charges recombine in about 100 microseconds and the binding energy of the Rydberg atoms approximately equals the increase in the kinetic energy of the remaining free electrons. We contrast these observations with theory for three-body recombination.
Physical Review Letters
No. 17


recombination, ultracold plasma


Lim, M. , Killian, T. , Kulin, S. , Dumke, R. , Bergeson, S. and Rolston, S. (2001), Formation of Rydberg Atoms in an Expanding Ultracold Neutral Plasma, Physical Review Letters (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created April 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017