Radiation trapping in sodium-noble-gas mixtures

J. Huennekens, H. J. Park, T. Colbert, S. C. McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We have studied sodium resonance radiation under conditions of severe radiation trapping in sodium-argon mixtures, and we report measured values of the effective radiative decay rates. The measured values are compared with values calculated from the Holstein theory of radiation trapping in the impact-regime, foreign-gas pressure-broadening limit. The experiment was designed to satisfy all of the validity criteria imposed by the approximations of the Holstein theory, and the experiment and theory are in good agreement. Since the effective radiative decay rate depends upon the collisional line-broadening rate, confirmation of the theory allows such measurements to be used to determine unknown line-broadening constants using only broadband lasers and low resolution monochromaters. We demonstrate this technique for the sodium D lines broadened by xenon and neon perturbers. The values for the broadening constants obtained in this manner are in reasonable agreement with values from several previous studies utilizing more traditional techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2892-2901
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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