Lifetimes of highly excited atomic states
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We consider a highly excited atom in a good cavity strongly pumped by coherent light. We derive the autocorrelation function of the field emergent from the cavity. We show that the autocorrelation function can be expressed in terms of the atomic dissipation rate. In order to distinguish between the resonant and the non-resonant case, we introduce a parameter interpreted as the measure of the relative detuning between the pump laser and the excited atom frequency. By selecting the parameter time, we determine the lifetime of the excited atom. This method constitutes an interesting alternative for internal atomic parameter determination.