Abstract

A primary interest in the spectroscopy of atoms in high Rydberg states stems from its sensitivity to external perturbations, such as the electric field. The influence of an external applied field increases rapidly with an increase in principal quantum number. The relative ease with which Rydberg atoms can be excited, from the metastable levels often found in discharges, using fairly standard tunable laser sources, over a wide range of principal quantum number states makes it attractive for measurements requiring a wide dynamic range, such as electric field values in the cathode sheath and negative glow region of a low-pressure glow discharge.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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