Physics and Astronomy
Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Using the inherent timing stability of pulses from a mode-locked laser, we measure the cesium 6P3/2 excited-state lifetime. An initial pump pulse excites cesium atoms in two counterpropagating atomic beams to the 6P3/2 level. A subsequent synchronized probe pulse ionizes atoms that remain in the excited state and the photoions are collected and counted. By selecting pump pulses that vary in time with respect to the probe pulses, we obtain a sampling of the excited-state population in time, resulting in a lifetime value of 30.462(46) ns. The measurement uncertainty (0.15%) is slightly larger than our previous report of 0.12% [J. F. Sell et al., Phys. Rev. A 84, 010501(R) (2011)] due to the inclusion of additional data and systematic errors. In this follow-up paper we present details of the primary systematic errors encountered in the measurement, which include atomic motion within the intensity profiles of the laser beams, quantum beating in the photoion signal, and radiation trapping. Improvements to further reduce the experimental uncertainty are also discussed.
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
(2015). Lifetime Measurement of the Cesium 6P3/2 Level Using Ultrafast Pump-Probe Laser Pulses. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 91(1).
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/18697