Journal: Physical Review A
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Interference predicted in two-electron one-photon transitions
Calculations of interactions between one photon and two electrons in ions have identified an important interference that should be observable in experiments.
In the overwhelming majority of interactions between light and matter, a single photon interacts with a single electron in an atom or ion, causing it to change energy level. But in rare cases, one photon can induce two electrons to simultaneously change energy levels. Predicted about a century ago, this process is interesting because it can occur in high-temperature astrophysical phenomena.
Now, a physicist from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and two collaborators have investigated two-electron, one-photon transitions in hydrogen-like ions by performing calculations using quantum electrodynamics — a theory that brings together quantum mechanics and special relativity.
The three researchers found that, for light and medium ions, interference between two processes — dielectronic recombination with two-electron one-photon transitions and radiative recombination — is important and should be large enough to observe in experiments.
- Physical Review A 101, 040501 (2020). doi: 10.1103/PhysRevA.101.040501