Microwave ionization of Na Rydberg atoms
Abstract
Electric field ionization of excited Na atoms by microwave fields between 12 and 15 GHz exhibits several interesting phenomena. The m=0 and 1 states may be ionized with a very low microwave field, ~13n^{5}, corresponding to the point at which the n and n+1 Stark manifolds of principal quantum numbers n and n+1 intersect. The ionization occurs by an atom's making a succession of LandauZener transitions to higherlying states, finally reaching the classical ionization limit. The m=2 states, on the other hand, ionize at a very high microwave field, ~19n^{4}. Both these observations and the more familiar static or lowfrequency result of ionization by a field of ~116n^{4} are all consistent with ionization in a completely classical fashion. The apparent differences are due to the dynamics of passing from zero field to a high ionizing field.
 Publication:

Physical Review A
 Pub Date:
 July 1984
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevA.30.280
 Bibcode:
 1984PhRvA..30..280P