The process of relaxation of metastable levels of copper atom in the interpulse period in copper vapor lasers is considered. It is shown that a high rate of relaxation after the excitation pulse is due to the ionization cooling of the electrons in the active medium and the process of dissociative recombination in cold buffer zones of discharge tube. In this case the dissipation of energy stored in the reactive components of impedance of the discharge circuit during this period carried out in the cold buffer zones. The process of energy dissipation in the cold buffer zone is carried out to the point where the plasma resistance in the end zones of the discharge channel reaches the value, from which the bushing capacitor components shunt the cold buffer zones. The result is a high-frequency circuit, and the further dissipation of energy is in the active medium. It reduces the rate of relaxation of metastable states in the interpulse period and determines the characteristic kink in the time behaviour of the population of metastable states, which determines the time of the high-frequency circuit appearance.
lasers on self-terminating transition, population inversion