Heteronuclear ionizing collisions between laser-cooled metastable helium atoms

J.M. McNamara, R.J.W. Stas, W. Hogervorst, W. Vassen

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We have investigated cold ionizing heteronuclear collisions in dilute mixtures of metastable (2 S13) He3 and He4 atoms, extending our previous work on the analogous homonuclear collisions [R. J. W. Stas, Phys. Rev. A 73, 032713 (2006)]. A simple theoretical model of such collisions enables us to calculate the heteronuclear ionization rate coefficient, for our quasiunpolarized gas, in the absence of resonant light (T=1.2 mK): K34 (th) =2.4× 10-10 cm3 s. This calculation is supported by a measurement of K34 using magneto-optically trapped mixtures containing about 1× 108 atoms of each species, K34 (exp) =2.5(8)× 10-10 cm3 s. Theory and experiment show good agreement. © 2007 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review A. Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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