State-changing in Rb(Ns, Np, Nd)-Xenon collisions
Goeller, Lawrence Nelson
Stebbings, Ronald F.
Master of Arts
A crossed atomic beam/pulsed laser technique and electric field ionization are used to study Rb(nS,nP,nD)-Xe collisions for 27 =< n =< 7. Parent nS, nP, nD atoms are most often destroyed by mixing to the states of high-1 that lie nearest in energy to the parent level. The 1-mixed population is monitored at several specific times after laser fire and the data are fit to a. rate equation to determine the rate constants for state changing. At higher values of n, the data approach agreement with theoretical models involving the Born Approximation and information determined from free-electron scattering cross-sections. Discrepancies between theory and experiment at lower n can be partially explained by considering the relatively large energy separations between the initial and final states, although it may be necessary to consider the relation of initial- and final-state wavefunctions as well. Present results are compared to other experimental data.