We observe a new resonance structure in the associative ionization spectrum of laser-cooled sodium due to the collision of two atoms in different ground hyperfine states. This associative ionization is due to doubly resonant excitation at moderate internuclear separation through intermediate molecular states. Substructure within this resonance is evidence for the role of molecular bound states in this process. We present calculations modeling the effect of ground-state hyperfine structure, the importance of which was unanticipated in earlier theoretical studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)