Abstract

A detailed review is given of methods for the measurement of radiative decay rates and total inelastic destructive cross sections of short-lived excited states. The paper is divided into six main sections, dealing with methods of approximate calculation and interpretation of radiative and collision processes; previous methods of measurement; a review of delayed multichannel coincidence techniques; properties of the vernier chronotron; methods of statistical analysis; and a summary and analysis of data pertinent to laser transitions in helium, neon, and singly ionized argon. The main emphasis is given to experimental techniques devised by the authors for the measurement of excited state lifetimes in the 4-nsec to 1000-nsec range and the analysis of data taken in the noble gases with this system.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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