Relative transition probabilities for 12 visible neon lines originating on the 3s2 and 3s3 (Paschen notation) levels of neon have been measured. The experimental technique utilizes the interaction between the output of a helium–neon laser oscillating at 3.39 μ (3s2–3p4) and the excited atoms in a neon discharge. Changes of intensity of spontaneous emission from the 3s2 and 3s3 levels result from this interaction. By analyzing these intensity changes as a function of pressure, we have determined the ratio of the transition probabilities for the 3s2–3p4 and the 3s2–2p5 transitions. This ratio is 7.10±0.57. The measurements also yield the product of the radiative lifetime of the 3s3 level and the effective cross section for transfer of excitation between the 3s2 and 3s3 levels. This product is τ3σ23 = (9.93±0.80)×10−23 sec-cm2. The transition probabilities are placed on an absolute scale by use of a recently reported absolute value for the 3s2–2p4 transition. The experimental values are compared with the theoretically calculated transition probabilities for which a j-l coupling model was used. This comparison points out the rather large departure of these levels from j-l coupling.
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