Stationary inverted Lyman populations and free-free and bound-free emission of lower-energy state hydride ion formed by an exothermic catalytic reaction of atomic hydrogen and certain group I catalysts
Rb+ to Rb2+ and 2K+ to K + K2+ each provide a reaction with a net enthalpy equal to the potential energy of atomic hydrogen. The presence of these gaseous ions with thermally dissociated hydrogen formed a plasma having strong VUV emission with a stationary inverted Lyman population. Significant Balmer α line broadening of 18 and 9 eV was observed from a rt-plasma of hydrogen with KNO3, and RbNO3, respectively, compared to 3 eV from a hydrogen microwave plasma. The reaction was exothermic since excess power of about 20 mW/cc was measured by Calvet calorimetry. We propose an energetic catalytic reaction involving a resonance energy transfer between hydrogen atoms and Rb+ or 2K+ to form a very stable novel hydride ion. Its predicted binding energy of 3.0471 eV with the fine structure was observed at 4071 Å, and its predicted bound-free hyperfine structure lines matched those observed for about 40 lines to within.01 percent. Characteristic emission from each catalyst was observed. This catalytic reaction may pump a CW HI laser.
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