This paper discusses the dynamics of the atomic radiation from an erosion laser plasma that accompanies transitions from one upper excited state to several lower states. Intensity oscillations in time of the spectral lines of such radiation are detected. It is shown that the observed features of the decay of the excited states of atoms over several radiative channels are caused by self-absorption. The difference between the ratio of the time-integrated radiation intensities of the spectral lines for transitions from one upper level and the ratio of their transition probabilities can reach 15% because of self-absorption. In the case of time-resolved measurements, self-absorption at the back of the plasma can completely distort the intensity ratio with respect to the intensity ratio based on the transition probabilities.
© 2008 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article