Abstract

The cascade Hanle-effect technique has been described in detail. It has been used to measure the radiative lifetimes of several excited S states in heavy alkali metal atoms. We obtained the following measurements (in nanoseconds): γ(K, 6 <sup>2</sup>S<sub>½</sub>) = 68 ± 9, γ(Rb, 7 <sup>2</sup>S<sub>½</sub>) = 91 ± 11, γ(Cs, 8 <sup>2</sup>S<sub>½</sub>) = 96 ± 14, and γ(Cs, 9 <sup>2</sup>S<sub>½</sub>) = 231 ± 35.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

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