Analysis of Electron-Atom Collisions: Electron-Photon Coincidence Experiments

  • Hans Kleinpoppen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 181)


Research on electron-atom scattering has progressed and developed to a state by which detailed analysis may lead to a maximum complete information on the collision process. While cross section measurements of elastic and inelastic electron scattering by atoms are of importance in themselves and also for applications in other parts of physics and astrophysics recent advances particularly derived from angular and polarization correlation experiments and from electron spin analysis of electron-atom collisions have provided us with knowledge on scattering amplitudes and their phases, atomic target parameter such as alignment and orientation and shapes of electron charge distributions of states excited by electron bombardment. These data on electron scattering by atoms are important with regard to two aspects:
  1. (1)

    The data provide a deep insight into physical mechanisms of electron-atom scattering processes. The data reveal what types of processes and interactions occur or compete with each other in the collisional process.

  2. (2)

    Scattering amplitudes and their phase differences and also atomic target parameters extracted from the above experiments have successfully been applied as most sensitive tests of modern collision theories. Data from coincidence and electron spin experiments do not, in selected cases, average or sum over partial cross sections for various sub-processes or interactions of the collisional processes. Coincidence and spin experiments resulting in collision amplitudes, phases and target parameters have been classified as “third generation” type of experiments going well beyond the more limited kind of information obtained from differential (“second generation” type of experiments) or total (“first generation” type of experiments) cross section measurements.



Circular Polarization Orbital Angular Momentum Angular Correlation Excitation Process Collisional Process 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Kleinpoppen
    • 1
  1. 1.Atomic Physics LaboratoryUniversity of StirlingStirlingScotland, UK

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