A substantial fraction of the population of Na-atoms in an H2-O2-Ar flame is found to be distributed among the higher levels as a result of two-photon laser excitation, spontaneous emission and collisions with flame gas atoms and molecules. Several population inversions are observed. From the laser-excited level upwards, a partial Boltzmann equilibrium, corresponding to the flame temperature, has been found in some cases. Estimates of weighted average rate-constants for collisional energy transfer from groups of higher levels to the 3P-level are given. Some level-pairs appear to be strongly coupled to each other
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