The average deflection of a laser excited, divergent sodium beam with a broad velocity distribution is measured by means of a Langmuir-Taylor detector and exploited for determining the absolute density of the excited state in the interaction area. Simulations of the excitation and deflection process point out that the knowledge of the velocity distribution of the sodium atoms plays a crucial part in obtaining reliable information from deflection measurements. From the comparison of simulated and experimental results we find that in our set-up typically 30% of the sodium atoms are in the excited state when both ground state levels are pumped with an intensity of 35 mW cm-2 from an electro-optically modulated CW laser beam; the corresponding excited state density is 1.5 x 10(9) cm-3.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Physics B-Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 28-Aug-1994|
- ORBITAL ALIGNMENT