9. A. R. P. Rau, G. Brad Armen, Effective Potentials for High Rydberg States in a Magnetic Field

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Volume 13: Pages 400-407, 2000

Effective Potentials for High Rydberg States in a Magnetic Field

A. R. P. Rau 1, G. Brad Armen 2

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 708034001 U.S.A.

2Department of Physics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 U.S.A.

Experiments have shown a wealth of sharp spectral features, even above the ionization limit, for an atom in a uniform magnetic field, and subsequent detailed calculations have accounted for them. While not competing in accuracy with such treatments, we provide a simple quantummechanical description for such energy levels and their stability, developing ideas advanced by Fano at the time of the very first observations. Eigenstates in a few analytically derived potential wells account for major features of the experimental observations. The procedure may also be of interest in other situations where particle motion in two (or more) equally important fields leads to unexpected structures and stability.

Keywords: diamagnetic effect, Rydberg states, quasiLandau resonances, atoms in magnetic fields, localization

Received: November 15, 1999; Published online: December 15, 2008