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Excitation of high angular momentum Rydberg states

W. A. Molander, John A. Yeazell, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

J. Phys. B 19, L461 (1986).

The authors describe and analyse an RF-optical technique for exciting alkali atoms in an atomic beam to a specific high angular momentum Rydberg state. In the procedure the Rydberg states are dressed by an RF field and two optical photons are used to excite the dressed state that goes adiabatically into the desired Rydberg state as the RF field is turned off. They describe in detail the excitation of the aligned-circular-orbit states. The states have the maximum angular momentum quantum numbers for a given principal quantum number, and thus are the most nearly classical of all eigenstates. It is shown that in excess of 90% of the excited state population can be put into the aligned-circular-orbit state.

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