A simple semiclassical model is used to describe the l ≥ 3 term energies in Cs i. The passive electrons are treated as a thin hollow shell of charge that can be polarized and penetrated by an active electron in a quantized Kepler orbit. The data are parameterized by weighted nonlinear least-squares adjustment of effective values for the dipole and quadrupole polarizabilities, the core radius, and the penetrated charge. The formulation represents the data well, permits predictive extrapolations, and provides intuitive insights into penetration effects. It is shown that apparent differences in the effective quadrupole polarizabilities inferred from the f and g series are removed when penetration effects are included.
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