Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

November 2006


Published in Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 39 (2006) 4861–4870. Copyright © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd. Used by permission. Online at


We have investigated helium (1s3d) 3D → (1s2p) 3P (588 nm) fluorescence produced by electron impact excitation in the vicinity of the (2s22p) 2P and (2s2p2) 2D negative-ion resonances at 57.2 and 58.3 eV, respectively. In contrast to previous work, we use spin-polarized incident electrons and report the relative Stokes parameters P1, P2, and P3 in the 55–60 eV region. Our failure to see discernable resonance effects in P2 indicates that even though the lifetime of these resonances is significant (~10 fs), magnetic forces acting on the temporarily captured electron are small. Resonant structures in the values of P1 and P3 are observed because the polarization contributions of resonant states are generally different than those from direct excitation of the 3 3D state.

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