Radiation trapping under conditions of low to moderate line-center optical depth

T. Colbert, J. Huennekens

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35 Scopus citations


We have studied trapping of resonance radiation under conditions of moderate to low line-center optical depths in sodium-argon mixtures. We report measured effective radiative decay rates, which are compared with predictions of the Post [Phys. Rev. A 33, 2003 (1986)] and the Milne [J. Lond. Math. Soc. 1, 40 (1926)] theories of radiation trapping. These theories are expected to be valid for spectral lines with low to moderate line-center optical depths, where the commonly used Holstein [Phys. Rev. 72, 1212 (1947); 83, 1159 (1951)] theory of radiation trapping is expected to break down. The experiment was performed under conditions in which the trapping was dominated by either the Doppler-broadened Gaussian or by the impact-broadened Lorentzian line-shape function. The measured effective radiative decay rates agree well with those predicted by the Milne and Post theories over the range of low to moderate optical depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6145-6154
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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