Introduction to Fundamental Interactions in Atomic Collisions
In these introductory lectures an effort will be made to provide a review of background material which may be useful in following the other lectures to be given in this institute. We begin with a description of collision processes that is intentionally formulated in terms general enough to encompass the interactions of particles, photons, and composite systems, as they make their appearance in nonradiative and radiative atomic and molecular collision processes. The emphasis is on multichannel processes, and it is assumed that the reader has some familiarity with the less general formulations of the theory, such as those appropriate for elastic and inelastic scattering and ionization.1 Decay processes will also be treated as “half-collisions”, and the connection between the T matrix and decay rates will be established. The results will be expressed in terms of the density matrix as the most convenient tool for an analysis of experiments.
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