We have computed the cross sections for energy transfer and intramultiplet mixing in collisions between excited Cd and ground state Na atoms. Classical trajectories with surface hopping have been run on ab initio potentials, taking into account nonadiabatic and spin-orbit couplings. The theoretically determined cross sections contribute to identify the source of excited sodium atoms in heat pipe oven experiments with laser excitation of cadmium. The short lifetime of the collision complex leads to the conclusion that the three-body process Na + Cd* + M -> NaCd* + M has a negligible role in the excimer production.
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