Coherence and Correlations in Fast Ion-Atom Collisions

  • Joachim Burgdörfer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 181)


Inelastic ion-atom collisions are characterized by a rearrangement of the electronic charge cloud of the collision partners. Electrons may be lifted from the ground state to excited states (“direct excitation” of the target or projectile) or may be lost during the collision (“ionization”) or may be transferred into orbits of the collision partner (“electron capture”). In recent years the study of atomic collisions has tended toward a more detailed understanding of the collision dynamics focussing on the “shape” and the “circulation” properties of the electronic charge distribution. The goal is to extract the maximum available information from the collision process rather than just a few cross sections. Investigations along these lines are closely connected with the notion of “coherence and correlations” in atomic collisions. The work on this subject until the early 70’s has been reviewed by Fano and Macek in their seminal paper1 on “Impact Excitation and Polarization of Emitted Light” which, in turn, has stimulated a rapidly growing number of related studies in the fields of electron-atom and ion-atom collisions and of beam-foil spectroscopy. Several reviews on more recent developments have become available including those by Andrä,2 Blum,3 Hermann and Hertel,4 Hippler,5 and Janev and Winter.6


Density Matrix Coherent State Density Operator Atomic Collision Density Matrix Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Burgdörfer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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