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A Streak camera study of superfluorescence at multiple wavelengths from helium atoms excited using free electron laser pulses

Harries, J.; Iwayama, Hiroshi*; Nagasono, Mitsuru*; Togashi, Tadashi*; Yabashi, Makina*; Kuma, Susumu*; Nakajima, Kyo*; Miyamoto, Yuki*; Ohae, Chiaki*; Sasao, Noboru*; Shigemasa, Eiji*

We report the observation of superfluorescence at wavelengths (in air) of 501.6 nm, 667.8 nm, and 728.1 nm following the excitation of helium atoms with free-electron laser pulses at wavelengths of 53.7 nm ($$n$$=3 excitation) and 52.2 nm ($$n$$=4 excitation). The observed wavelengths of the superfluorescence pulses correspond to 1s3p-1s2s, 1s3d-1s2p, and 1s3s-2p transitions. Observation of superfluorescence on these transitions implies either competing cascade decays, or direct excitation of non-dipole allowed transitions. We have studied the time structure of the emitted pulses using a streak camera, and the results cannot be explained by straightforward considerations using the usual model for two-level superfluorescence.

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