Photodetachment microscopy of \(\)
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Photodetachment of \(\) ions is performed in the presence of a static electric field. A high spatial resolution electron detector is used to map out the ejected electron's wave function. Propagation over half a metre does not alter the stationary structure the electron wave possesses in the direction orthogonal to the detachment motion. Nodes and antinodes of electron current density are observed, that can be interpreted as direct imaging of the internal atomic wave function. Because detachment of a negative ion can be represented accurately in the free-electron approximation, the obtained images can also be viewed as direct experimental representations of the Green function of the uniform acceleration problem. Agreement of the measured distributions with the exact expression of this wave-function appears quite satisfactory.
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