Abstract

We describe studies of excited-state/ground-state collisions between optically trapped Rb atoms. Collision rates are deduced from the transients observed as atoms are loaded into a vapor-cell optical trap. The rates are measured as a function of the frequency of the light used to excite the atom pairs. A comparison of the results for 85Rb and 87Rb shows that excited-state hyperfine interactions play a vital role in the dynamics of the collisions. In addition, the absolute rates are smaller than those expected from recent models.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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