Ionization of nS, nP, and nD lithium, potassium, and cesium Rydberg atoms by blackbody radiation

I. I. Beterov, I. I. Ryabtsev, D. B. Tretyakov, N. N. Bezuglov, A. Ékers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The results of theoretical calculations of the blackbody ionization rates of lithium, potassium, and cesium atoms residing in Rydberg states are presented. The calculations are performed for nS, nP, and nD states in a wide range of principal quantum numbers, n = 8-65, for blackbody radiation temperatures T = 77, 300, and 600 K. The calculations are performed using the known quasi-classical formulas for the photoionization cross sections and for the radial matrix elements of transitions in the discrete spectrum. The effect of the blackbody-radiation-induced population redistribution between Rydberg states on the blackbody ionization rates measured under laboratory conditions is quantitatively analyzed. Simple analytical formulas that approximate the numerical results and that can be used to estimate the blackbody ionization rates of Rydberg atoms are presented. For the S series of lithium, the rate of population of high-lying Rydberg levels by blackbody radiation is found to anomalously behave as a function of n. This anomaly is similar to the occurrence of the Cooper minimum in the discrete spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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