The effect of creation of an excess concentration of free electrons in an anomalously thick layer (∼ 5 cm) ahead of an explosively driven shock wave in noble gases is discussed and interpreted. This effect is the ionization of excited lu-state molecules produced due to the absorption of a small intensity flux (as compared to the ionization one) of photons (with energies substantially lower than the atom ionization threshold) by unexcited colliding complexes and van der Waals molecules. A model is proposed which explains the excitation of xenon molecules ahead of the radiationless shock wave of an open discharge. The absorption spectra of colliding complexes and van der Waals molecules adjacent to each other near the atomic absorption lines can be resolved into two spectra, and these spectra can be changed by an increase in gas temperature. As a result, radiation capable of exciting van der Waals molecules penetrates through the shock wave of an open discharge and excites xenon molecules there. The present work develops further the knowledge concerning the radiation energy transport in the shock wave front. It also proves that in front of an explosively driven shock wave a great number of excited molecules of noble gases are actually formed, and this means considerable progress toward a VUV laser with optical pumping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)