Metastable States of Highly Excited Heavy Ions
Highly stripped heavy ions (i.e. systems with high nuclear charge but a small number of electrons) are of interest from several viewpoints. One reason is that the relativistic magnetic interactions such as the spin-orbit, spin-other-orbit and spin-spin interactions are considerably stronger in these ions than in nearly neutral isoelectronic ions. This situation sometimes allows “forbidden” processes to be experimentally observable, even though the rates for these processes are still very small compared to those for “allowed” processes. A number of recent experiments1 involving the radiative decay of metastable states of highly stripped ions have advanced our knowledge of atomic structure through a comparison of radiative decay rate measurements with theory. It is also possible to study metastable states in simple heavy ions which do not decay radiatively, but by the autoionization processes instead. Our recent work2 concerns the study of such states.
KeywordsMetastable State Electron Energy Spectrum Carbon Foil Series Limit Carbon Target
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