Sunday, August 4, 2013

1308.0129 (L. Weller et al.)

Cooperative Enhancement of Energy Transfer in a High-Density Thermal

L. Weller, R. J. Bettles, C. L. Vaillant, M. A. Zentile, R. M. Potvliege, C. S. Adams, I. G. Hughes
We present an experimental study of energy transfer in a thermal vapor of atomic rubidium. We measure the fluorescence spectrum in the visible and near infra-red as a function of atomic density using confocal microscopy. At low density we observe energy transfer consistent with the well-known energy pooling process. In contrast, above a critical density we observe a dramatic enhancement of the fluorescence from high-lying states that is not to be expected from kinetic theory. We show that the density threshold for excitation on the D1 and D2 resonance line corresponds to the value at which the dipole-dipole interactions begins to dominate, thereby indicate the key role of these interactions in the enhanced emission.
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