Abstract

The lifetimes of the first excited states of the elements Na, K, Rb, and Cs were measured using the phase-shift method described by Brewer et al. [ Rev. Sci. Instr. 33, 1450 ( 1962)]. The data were taken over a wide range of vapor densities to allow the effects of radiation entrapment and of scattered exciting light to be taken into account. The following values were obtained: Na 3p 2P 16.1±0.3 nsec, K 4p2P 27.8±0.5 nsec, Rb 5p2P3/2 27.0±0.5 nsec, and Cs 6p2P3/2 30.5±0.7 nsec.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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