99-185 O. Costin (costin@math.rutgers.edu), J. L. Lebowitz, (lebowitz@math.rutgers.edu), A. Rokhlenko (rokhlenk@math.rutgers.edu)
Ionization of a Model Atom: Exact Results and Connection with Experiment (1172K, ps file containing a latex file and 4 figures in ps files) May 18, 99
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Abstract. We prove that a model atom having one bound state will be fully ionized by a time periodic potential of arbitrary strength $r$ and frequency $\omega$. The survival probability is for small $r$ given by $e^{-\Gamma t}$ for times of order $\Gamma^{-1}$ $\sim r^{-2n}$, where $n$ is the number of ``photons'' required for ionization, with enhanced stability at resonances. For late times the decay is like $t^{-3}$. Results are for a 1d system with a delta function potential of strength $-g(1 + \eta (t))$ but comparison with experiments on the microwave ionization of excited hydrogen atoms and with recent analytical work indicate that many features are universal.

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