Radiation Interaction of Rydberg Atoms

  • Herbert Walther
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 110)


When a valence electron of an atom is excited into an orbit with sufficiently high principal quantum number n and therefore far from the ionic core, the properties of the atom appear hydrogenic. The energy of these highly excited levels is given by the Rydberg formula, and so the states are also called Rydberg states. The phenomenological quantum defect δ depends on the angular momentum ℓ. For states of low ℓ, where the orbits of the classical Bohr-Sommerfeld theory are ellipses of high eccentricity, the penetration and polarization of the electron core by the valence electron lead to large quantum defects and strong departures from the hydrogenic behaviour. As ℓ increases, the orbits become more circular and the atom becomes more hydrogenic, δ; changing with δ;-5.


Spontaneous Emission Cavity Mode Resonant Cavity Rydberg State Rydberg Atom 
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Copyright information

© Plednum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Walther
    • 1
  1. 1.Sektion Physik, Universität München and Max-Planck-Institut für QuantenoptikGarchingFed. Rep. Germany

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