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Evidence for unnatural-parity contributions to electron-impact ionization of laser-aligned atomsRecent measurements have examined the electron-impact ionization of excited-state laser-aligned Mg atoms. In this work we show that the ionization cross section arising from the geometry where the aligned atom is perpendicular to the scattering plane directly probes the unnatural parity contributions to the ionization amplitude. The contributions from natural parity partial waves cancel exactly in this geometry. Our calculations resolve the discrepancy between the nonzero measured cross sections in this plane and the zero cross section predicted by distorted-wave approaches. We demonstrate that this is a general feature of ionization from p-state targets by additional studies of ionization from excited Ca and Na atoms.
Theoretical and experimental (e,2e) study of electronimpact ionization of laser-aligned Mg atomsWe have performed calculations of the fully differential cross sections for electron-impact ionization of magnesium atoms. Three theoretical approximations, the time-dependent close coupling, the three-body distorted wave, and the distorted wave Born approximation, are compared with experiment in this article. Results will be shown for ionization of the 3 s ground state of Mg for both asymmetric and symmetric coplanar geometries. Results will also be shown for ionization of the 3p state which has been excited by a linearly polarized laser which produces a charge cloud aligned perpendicular to the laser beam direction and parallel to the linear polarization. Theoretical and experimental results will be compared for several different alignment angles, both in the scattering plane as well as in the plane perpendicular to the incident beam direction.