To investigate the potential of a proposed optical frequency standard, we have measured the lifetime of the metastable 6s′ [1/2]0 state in xenon. Magneto-optically trapped xenon atoms were prepared in the 6s′ [1/2]0 state, and the time dependence of the vacuum-ultraviolet decay signature was analyzed. The total decay rate of 75(3) s−1 is the sum of a 7.8(38)-s−1 spontaneous emission rate (1−σ uncertainties) and a much larger deexcitation rate that is due to a transition driven by room-temperature blackbody radiation.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 17, 1995
Published: May 15, 1995
M. Walhout, U. Sterr, A. Witte, and S. L. Rolston, "Lifetime of the metastable 6s′ [1/2]0 clock state in xenon," Opt. Lett. 20, 1192-1194 (1995)