Ionization and plasma formation in high n cold Rydberg samples
Department of Physics, University of Virginia, McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22904, USA
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 12 June 2006
Published online: 18 August 2006
The experiments reported here show that the dipole-dipole interaction, the fundamental interaction between the cold Rydberg atoms, is the dominant initial ionization mechanism for evolution from a frozen Rydberg gas into a plasma. The study also indicates that plasma formation follows a path of initial ionization, redistribution of Rydberg population to higher angular momentum states, and rapid avalanche ionization due to electron-Rydberg collisions.
PACS: 32.80.Pj – Optical cooling of atoms; trapping / 34.60.+z – Scattering in highly excited states
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006