Theoretical and experimental saturation curves and associated saturation parameters for the Na-D doublet in an H2-O2-Ar flame at 1 atm (T=1700 K) are compared. These parameters are found to agree within the experimental error of 25%. An explanation based on the spatial and temporal distribution of the laser intensity is given for the deviating saturation curves reported by various authors. The shape of the fluorescence pulse is shown to depend on the O2 concentration in the flame. A lower limit for the rate constant of the doublet mixing transition is estimated from the ratio of the saturated fluorescence intensities of the Na-D components and found to be 3x108s-1. Conclusions are drawn which restrict the use of saturated atomic fluorescence intensities as a measure for the total atomic number density in the flame
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