Abstract

Exact rigid-body solutions for two-electron atoms have been derived within classical mechanics. These solutions describe equilibrium configurations of the electrons, i.e., the electrons do not experience any force. Exactly two nondegenerate equilibria exist with singly periodic rotation. Linear stability of these classical solutions emerges from the structure of highly nonlinear, coupled equations of motion rather than from geometrical potential barriers. This new type of strong correlation effect generates an atomic rotation spectrum of resonances converging to the double-escape threshold. These resonances should be observable in multiphoton absorption spectra. The binding mechanism of these resonances is provided by trapping the correlated electron pair onto an attractive phase-space domain. The motion within this basin of attraction consists of periodic, quasi-periodic, and chaotic components.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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