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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Mar 25;106(12):123201. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Differential cross sections for ionization of laser-aligned atoms by electron impact.

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  • 1Photon Science Institute, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The first experimental data are given for (e,2e) ionization from laser-aligned atoms. A linearly polarized laser excited Mg atoms to the 3¹P₁ state prior to ionization by low energy electrons. The scattered and ejected electrons were detected in coincidence and the differential cross section determined for a range of alignment angles. An asymmetric coplanar geometry was used, with one electron fixed and the other detected at different angles. The data are compared to that from the spherically symmetric 3¹S₀ state. Significant differences are found, in both magnitude and angular distribution.

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