Electron-Ion and Ion-Ion Collisions in Astrophysics
There has long been a close association between astrophysical studies and the development of atomic collision theory. This interaction took a major step forward when, some forty years ago, the real nature of the solar corona was first understood as a very hot tenuous plasma. The formulation of the so-called “coronal equilibrium” equations, (1948), pointed to the importance of excitation, ionization and recombination collisions in determining the state of the plasma, and the nature of the emitted spectra. In the earlier “local thermodynamic equilibrium” (LTE) model, the plasma state was determined only by its temperature and the laws of statistical mechanics.
KeywordsExcited Level Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium Satellite Line Dielectronic Recombination Metastable Level
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