INELASTIC-COLLISIONS BETWEEN SELECTIVELY EXCITED RUBIDIUM ATOMS AND GROUND-STATE RUBIDIUM ATOMS
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Inelastic-collision processes in fine-structure-changing collisions have been studied by selective stepwise excitation and observation of the resulting fluorescence. Hereby, the effect of ground-state rubidium atoms colliding with excited-state rubidium atoms was investigated. The ground-state density was changed by three orders of magnitude by performing the measurements over the temperature range of 75 to 200C. The cross section for fine-structure-changing collisions [i.e., Rb(62D52)+Rb(52S12)'Rb(62D32)+Rb(52S12)] is fs=(1.00.6)10-13 cm2. The cross sections for transfer out of the fine-structure doublet [i.e., Rb(62D)+Rb(52S12)'states other than Rb (62D)] is tr=(3.80.6)10-13 cm2. It is demonstrated that for the intermediate excited rubidium states, both the fine-structure-changing and transfer cross sections are of the order of the geometrical cross section of the excited rubidium states. 1981 The American Physical Society.