 99185 O. Costin (costin@math.rutgers.edu), J. L. Lebowitz, (lebowitz@math.rutgers.edu), A. Rokhlenko (rokhlenk@math.rutgers.edu)
 Ionization of a Model Atom: Exact Results and Connection with Experiment
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May 18, 99

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Abstract. We prove that a model atom having one bound state will be fully ionized by
a time periodic potential of arbitrary strength $r$ and frequency $\omega$.
The survival probability is for small $r$ given by $e^{\Gamma t}$ for
times of order $\Gamma^{1}$ $\sim r^{2n}$, where $n$ is the number of
``photons'' required for ionization, with enhanced stability at resonances.
For late times the decay is like $t^{3}$. Results are for a 1d system
with a delta function potential of strength $g(1 + \eta (t))$ but
comparison with experiments on the microwave ionization of excited hydrogen
atoms and with recent analytical work indicate that many features are
universal.
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