Laser-magnetic-resonance detection of magnesium atoms in the metastable3p0, 1, 2 states

Massimo Inguscio, K. R. Leopold, J. S. Murray, K. M. Evenson

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15 Scopus citations


Transitions between fine-structure levels of the metastable (3s3p3P) state of magnesium have been observed by means of the highly sensitive technique of far-infrared laser-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy. The g factors for the 3Pi and 3P2 levels are 1.50111(16) and 1.50102(16), respectively, and the 3Pi-3P2 energy separation is 1 220 575.1(33) MHz. The observed g factors show good agreement with the predicted values. This stands in marked contrast to similar results for atomic silicon (3P) and aluminum (2P), for which the theoretical and experimental g factors differ substantially. The value of the 3Pi-3P2 energy separation is improved by nearly 2 orders of magnitude over the optical value and is of sufficient accuracy to permit possible extraterrestrial identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1566-1569
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1985


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