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ZhETF, Vol. 130, No. 4, p. 661 (October 2006)
(English translation - JETP, Vol. 103, No. 4, p. 574, October 2006 available online at )

Andreev E.A., Kashtanov P.V., Smirnov B.M.

Received: May 24, 2006

PACS: 31.15.Gy, 34.60.+z, 52.20.-j, 52.65.Yy

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The lifetime of a molecule consisting of two Rydberg atoms with respect to electron release is determined from computer simulation of two classical electrons in the field of Coulomb centers. From this, the cross section of the Penning process of collision of two Rydberg atoms with an electron release is obtained. The rate constant for ionization of Rydberg atoms is evaluated for the Rydberg plasma within the Thomson model. On the basis of these processes, the kinetics is analyzed for the decay of a Rydberg plasma. Comparison with experimental data shows that these decay processes are responsible for the first stage of the decay of a magnetized and nonmagnetized Rydberg plasma located in a magnetic superconducting trap, whereas other processes become important at a subsequent stage of the plasma evolution.

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