While the purpose of this paper is to describe some historical and current developments in the interpretation of collisional radiation, we wish to draw particular attention to the important role that Edward Condon played in these developments. The classical and quantum-mechanical Franck-Condon principles are the foundation of both modern and historical understandings of atomic collisional radiation, and the “new” developments we will describe here come largely from application of these historical principles. Dr. Condon and many others have long recognized that these principles apply to bound-free and free-free molecular continua as well as to the more familiar bound-bound transitions. The “physics” of pressure broadening is the same topic as molecular continuum radiation; while there are some regions of collisional lines for which a non-adiabatic Born-Oppenheimer-approximation treatment is required, the basic concepts are still those elucidated by Edward Condon 40–50 years ago.
KeywordsImpact Parameter Satellite Radius Blue Wing Wing Region Satellite Shape
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