Observation of coherent wave packets in a heavy Rydberg system
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Coherent dynamical behavior is observed in the heavy Rydberg system H+H-. Because of the large mass, time scales of the wave-packet evolution are orders of magnitude slower than for a Rydberg electron. In the presence of a weak electric field, wave packets made up of about 1000 Stark states are excited by near-Fourier transform limited nanosecond laser pulses. Pulsed-field dissociation reveals coherent time evolution on a microsecond time scale, observed as oscillations with frequencies explained by a linear Stark model applied to the H+H- system.