Abstract

The radiative lifetimes τrad of the highly excited 4f7/2136s1/2(4)np3/2[11/2](n=2131) Rydberg Tm states have been measured with the method of multistep laser excitation and electric field ionization. The lifetime values have been obtained with an accuracy of better than 15%. The influence of blackbody radiation on the states with n ≥ 27 has been observed. The experimental results are in good agreement with our previously calculated values obtained by relativistic perturbation theory with a zero-order model approximation. It has been shown that the τrad-versus-n* dependence (n* is the effective principal quantum number) is best described by the relation τrad = 0.0022.(n*)2.46 (μsec). This property may be attributed to the strongly expressed nonhydrogenlike behavior of the investigated states, which is caused by the essentially non-Coulombic core potential acting on the Rydberg electron.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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