Observation of spatially localized atomic electron wave packets
John A. Yeazell and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 60, 1494 (1988).
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We have excited and detected an atomic electron wave packet that is
localized in the polar and azimuthal angles. The wave packet is formed
through the coherent superposition of Rydberg states of atomic sodium. The
superposition is achieved by short-pulse optical excitation of the atom in
the presence of a strong rf field. The wave packet is detected by dc field
ionization. The behavior of this wave packet in a strong dc field is much
different from that of an eigenstate. This behavior agrees well with a
simple classical model.
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