- Conference date: 30 July-2 August 2003
- Location: Konigstein (Germany)
The atomic orientation generated by polarized‐electron impact excitation of Hg (6s 2) 1S0 → (6s6p) 3P1 is discussed with regard to the so‐called ‘orientation propensity rules’. Experimental results for the orientation parameter as well as existing theoretical predictions employing a five‐state semi‐relativistic R‐matrix (close‐coupling) description and the relativistic distorted‐wave approximation show that the orientation propensity rules are apparently violated if the electron spin is initially down with respect to the scattering plane. The applicability of the propensity rules to electron‐impact excitation of heavy atoms is analyzed within a non‐relativistic description. The observed apparent violation can be attributed to a quantum mechanical interference caused by ‘intermediate coupling’ within the excited state. A re‐evaluation of the data supports the validity of the propensity rules and yields a consistency check of the non‐relativistic approach.
- Relativistic scattering theory
- Electron scattering
- Excited states
- Mercury (element)
- Scattering theory
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