Time-Dependent Studies of Fundamental Atomic Processes in Rydberg Atoms
Type of DegreeDissertation
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This dissertation consists of four time-dependent studies of various fundamental atomic processes involving highly excited atoms and ions. We use time-dependent close-coupling theory besides other perturbative and and non-perturbative techniques, which has become standard in studying time-dependent atomic dynamics, to investigate these processes. The atomic processes studied in the following chapters include photo-double ionization of He from ground and the first excites states, electron-impact ionization of highly excited hydrogen and hydrogen-like ions, radiative cascade from highly excited states of hydrogen in the presence of strong external magnetic fields, and chaotic ionization of a hydrogenic Rydberg wave packet in parallel electric and magnetic fields. Besides their obvious fundamental importance for advancing our understanding of the physics of highly excited atomic systems, all these problems have applications which are of practical and fundamental importance. Throughout this work, we make an effort to carry out calculations that are inherently different from our quantum mechanical non-perturbative time-dependent calculations to benchmark and contrast our results with those that are either perturbative or classical. We make special effort to carry out classical calculations, where possible, to compare our quantum mechanical treatments with their classical counterparts for studying the classical-quantum correspondence for various different highly excited systems.