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Optical Engineering

Alkali Metal Vapors: Laser Spectroscopy And Applications
Author(s): William C. Stwalley; Mark E. Koch
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Paper Abstract

This overview addresses the rapidly expanding use of lasers for spectroscopic studies of alkali metal vapors. Since the alkali metals (lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium and cesium) are theoretically simple ("visible hydrogen"), readily ionized, and strongly interacting with laser light, they represent ideal systems for quantitative understanding of microscopic interconversion mechanisms between photon (e.g., solar or laser), chemical, electrical and thermal energy. The possible implications of such understanding for a wide variety of practical applications (sodium lamps, thermionic converters, magnetohydrodynamic devices, new lasers, "lithium waterfall" inertial confinement fusion reactors, etc.) are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1980
PDF: 14 pages
Opt. Eng. 19(1) doi: 10.1117/12.7972471
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 19, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
William C. Stwalley, University of Iowa (United States)
Mark E. Koch, University of Iowa (United States)


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