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Optics Letters

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  • Vol. 28, Iss. 19 — Oct. 1, 2003
  • pp: 1814–1816

Measurement of atomic lifetimes with a mode-locked laser

B. M. Patterson, C. D. Lindstrom, T. Takekoshi, J. R. Lowell, C. Villarreal, and R. J. Knize  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 28, Issue 19, pp. 1814-1816 (2003)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.28.001814


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Abstract

We present a new technique for measuring atomic lifetimes with a mode-locked laser. A single laser pulse excites the atoms and a subsequent frequency-doubled pulse ionizes the excited-state atoms. The ions are collected and counted. The measurement is repeated using excitation and detection pulses with different time separations, which determines the excited-state decay rate. We demonstrated this technique for the 6P3/2 state of cesium. The measured lifetime was 30.5 ns and had a statistical uncertainty of 0.1 ns. Systematic effects limited the overall experimental uncertainty to ~0.6>ns in this initial experiment.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.4900) Atomic and molecular physics : Oscillator strengths

Citation
B. M. Patterson, C. D. Lindstrom, T. Takekoshi, J. R. Lowell, C. Villarreal, and R. J. Knize, "Measurement of atomic lifetimes with a mode-locked laser," Opt. Lett. 28, 1814-1816 (2003)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-28-19-1814


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