Spontaneous evolution of cold Rydberg atoms to plasma

Jennifer Carini, Colby College

Document Type Honors Thesis (Open Access)


From the current ultracold plasma research, it is clear that the collective effects on this plasma have not been researched sufficiently. There is some recombination of electrons and positive ions into Rydberg states. In three body recombination, two electrons and a positive ion recombine to create a Rydberg atom and an electron, but this electron is a hotter electron. This electron causes the plasma to beat, and then the plasma coupling parameter would decrease away from one like in the conventional plasma. So then the question becomes whether or not we can use Rydberg atoms to coo] the plasmas. This would be done through using a second excitation at a different frequency.