Rydberg matter is a metastable state of highly excited atoms (see
Rydberg atom) which are condensed in a solid- or liquid-like very low density matter [L. Holmlid. Direct observation of circular Rydberg electrons in a Rydberg Matter surface layer by electronic circular dichroism "J. Phys.: Condens. Matter.", 19 (2007) 276206.] [S. Badiei, L. Holmlid. Experimental studies of fast fragments of H Rydberg Matter. "J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys." 39 (2006) 4191-4212.] [E.A. Manykin, M.I. Ojovan, P.P. Poluektov. Rydberg matter: properties and decay. "Proc. SPIE", 6181 (2006) 618105] . For example "Cs" atoms with main quantum-mechanical level of excitation ~ 10-15 form a Rydberg matter with the density 1017-18 cm-3 which is used in thermionic converters (see thermionic emission). Rydberg matter is formed because energetically the condensed state is more favourable compared with the initial system of non-interacting excited atoms. Bonding of excited atoms in the Rydberg matter is caused by delocalisation of valence electronsand its nature in many respects is similar to that of metallic bonding in metals.
The collective valence electrons are in the Rydberg matter at many orders of magnitude lower average densities compared with ordinary metals. E.g. the Rydberg matter made of Cs atoms with main quantum-mechanical level of excitation 12 has the average equilibrium density of electrons 1.1 1018 cm-3.
Additionally the valence electrons are distributed extremely non-uniformly in the Rydberg matter causing a significant delay in the decay of excitations compared non-interacting excited atoms. The attached figures show schematically the density of valence electrons and the effective one-particle potential which see a valence electron in an unit cell of Rydberg matter. There are effective barriers which confine electrons far from inner core of excited atoms.
Consequently both life-time and stability of Rydberg matter against impurity recombination increases with the increase of quantum-mechanical level of excitation. E.g. the half-life of Rydberg matter made of Cs atoms with main quantum-mechanical level of excitation 12 is as high as 17 s.
state of matter
* [http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0953-8984/14/49/305 Condensation to Rydberg matter]
* [http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7867j4156573062/ Rydberg matter in plasma]
* [http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05911.x Magnetic field from Rydberg matter in space]
* [http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05399.x?cookieSet=1 Dark baryonic matter in space]
* [http://www.inspi.ufl.edu/icapp08/program/abstracts/8193.pdf Direct energy conversion]
* [http://prola.aps.org/pdf/PRA/v63/i1/e013817 Simulated Raman processes]
* [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TFM-452FC6X-2&_user=128590&_origUdi=B6VND-460MBMM-3&_fmt=high&_coverDate=03%2F15%2F2002&_rdoc=1&_orig=article&_acct=C000010619&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=128590&md5=7ac4239cd486701c45f4ee5118e5c9f8 Hydrogen Rydberg matter]
* [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VND-460MBMM-3&_user=128590&_origUdi=B6TFN-40RTKD3-1C&_fmt=high&_coverDate=10%2F01%2F2002&_rdoc=1&_orig=article&_acct=C000010619&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=128590&md5=85dd5651a6d9593ea8986f9b6ac56c2e K and N2 Rydberg matter ]
* [http://www.springerlink.com/content/c215084278640392/ Be, Mg, Ca Rydberg matter]
* [http://www.laserfocusworld.com/display_article/202285/12/ARCHI/none/News/Tunable-thermal-laser-exploits-Rydberg-matter Tunable lasers]
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