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.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project nos. 05-02-16181 and 05-03-33252), by EU FP6 TOK (project LAMOL), by the European Social Fund, by the Latvian Science Council, by NATO (grant no. EAP.RIG.98138), by the Integration Project of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and by the program “Quantum Macrophysics” of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy