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Institute of Optics

Core Scattering in Sodium:
Classical vs. Hydrogenic Behavior

This movie shows that the complicated behavior of the sodium circular state (shown in the previous animation) can be divided into two different types of motion, "classical" behavior and "hydrogenic" behavior:

Classical vs. Hydrogenic

The part of the state shown on the left shows nearly perfect scattering: When the state is most stretched out, it quickly "precesses" around the orbit and almost the entire state is rotated to the opposite side of the nucleus. This is called "classical" behavior because the same behavior is seen in models of the sodium atom based on classical mechanics and electromagnetism.

The part of the state shown on the right shows behavior nearly identical to the hydrogen circular state, shown in the previous animation. Here the state avoids the sodium core because of quantum-mechanical interference effects. Since this part of the state avoids the core, it is not scattered substantially.

For more information on Stark precession can be found in the paper:

Visualization of the core-scattering dynamics of Rydberg wave packets
J. A. West and C. R. Stroud , Jr.
Optics Express 1, 31 (1997).


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Core Scattering:
Hydrogen vs. Sodium

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Web page maintained by
Hideomi Nihira ( nihira@optics.rochester.edu ).
Last modified 13 September 2006