Energy dependent electron polarization studies of penning ionization channels
Ratliff, John Martin
Walters, G. King
Master of Arts
Penning ionization reactions have been studied in a flowing afterglow apparatus to explore the contributions of autoionizing channels in reactions of spin-polarized He(23S) with alkali atoms. Spin polarization analysis of the Penning electrons has allowed us to identify a significant autoionizing channel for rubidium, and no such contribution for cesium and potassium. Using the results of this study, a model of the reaction process was constructed to predict the Penning electron polarization produced in He(23S) -- polarized rubidium reactions. An attempt to measure this polarization was made, but it became clear in the course of the experiment that success is possible only with a substantially upgraded apparatus. A simultaneous energy and polarization measurement of the electrons produced in reactions of polarized He(23S) with 2 has also been attempted. This initial experiment was unsuccessful but indicates that results can be obtained, again given an improved apparatus.