Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

June 1969


Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. Letters 22, 1271 (1969). Copyright © 1969 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


Compound states of atoms are known to decay by the emission of a single electron into many states lying at lower energies. Compound states associated with doubly excited states lie at energies above the ionization potential, and therefore the decay into an ion by the emission of two electrons is energetically possible. This paper presents evidence for such a two-electron decay in the case of the (2s22p)2p compound state of helium which derives from the (2s2)1S atomic state.

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