Systematic mapping of high-lying even-parity levels (low-lying configuratio
ns) of the samarium atom below the first ionization potential was carried o
ut with a two-step photoexcitation and photoionization method; Five hundred
seventy-one new energy levels were discovered in the region 34 850-45 300
cm(-1), and an unambiguous assignment of angular momenta was given to most
of the energy levels in accordance with the electric dipole selection rules
. (C) 2000 Optical Society of America [S0740-3224(00)01509-5].