Testing atomic collision theory with the two-photon continuum of astrophysical nebulae

Guzmán, F.; Badnell, N. R.; Chatzikos, M.; van Hoof, P. A. M.; Williams, R. J. R.; Ferland, G. J.

Accurate rates for energy-degenerate l-changing collisions are needed to determine cosmological abundances and recombination. There are now several competing theories for the treatment of this process, and it is not possible to test these experimentally. We show that the H I two-photon continuum produced by astrophysical nebulae is strongly affected by l-changing collisions. We perform an analysis of the different underlying atomic processes and simulate the recombination and two-photon spectrum of a nebula containing H and He. We provide an extended set of effective recombination coefficients and updated l-changing 2s – 2p transition rates using several competing theories. In principle, accurate astronomical observations could determine which theory is correct.


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K-shell photoionization of O4 + and O5 + ions: experiment and theory

McLaughlin, B. M.; Bizau, J.-M.; Cubaynes, D.; Guilbaud, S.; Douix, S.; Shorman, M. M. Al; Ghazaly, M. O. A. El; Sakho, I.; Gharaibeh, M. F.

Absolute cross-sections for the K-shell photoionization of Be-like (O4 +) and Li-like (O5 +) atomic oxygen ions were measured for the first time (in their respective K-shell regions) by employing the ion-photon merged-beam technique at the SOLEIL synchrotron-radiation facility in Saint-Aubin, France. High-resolution spectroscopy with E/ΔE ≈ 3200 (≈170 meV, full width at half-maximum) was achieved with photon energy from 550 to 670 eV. Rich resonance structure observed in the experimental spectra is analysed using the R-matrix with pseudo-states (RMPS) method. Results are also compared with the screening constant by unit nuclear charge (SCUNC) calculations. We characterize and identify the strong 1s → 2p resonances for both ions and the weaker 1s → np resonances (n ≥ 3) observed in the K-shell spectra of O4 +.


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Electron impact excitation for He-like ions with Z = 20-42

Si, R.; Li, S.; Wang, K.; Guo, X. L.; Chen, Z. B.; Yan, J.; Chen, C. Y.; Brage, T.; Zou, Y. M.

Aims: Spectral lines of He-like ions are among the most prominent features in X-ray spectra from a large variety of astrophysical and high-temperature fusion plasmas. A reliable plasma modeling and interpretation of the spectra require a large amount of accurate atomic data related to various physical processes. In this paper, we focus on the electron-impact excitation (EIE) process.
Methods: We adopted the independent process and isolated resonances approximation using distorted waves (IPIRDW). Resonant stabilizing transitions and decays to lower-lying autoionizing levels from the resonances are included as radiative damping. To verify the applicability of the IPIRDW approximation, an independent Dirac R-matrix calculation was also performed. The two sets of results show excellent agreement.
Results: We report electron impact excitation collision strengths for transitions among the lowest 49 levels of the 1snl(n ≤ 5,l ≤ (n-1)) configurations in He-like ions with 20 ≤ Z ≤ 42. The line ratios R and G are calculated for Fe XXV and Kr XXXV.
Conclusions: Compared to previous theoretical calculations, our IPIRDW calculation treats resonance excitation and radiative damping effects more comprehensively, and the resulting line emission cross sections show good agreement with the experimental observations. Our results should facilitate the modeling and diagnostics of various astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.


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Extended Calculations of Spectroscopic Data: Energy Levels, Lifetimes, and Transition Rates for O-like Ions from Cr xvii to Zn xxiii

Wang, K.; Jönsson, P.; Ekman, J.; Gaigalas, G.; Godefroid, M. R.; Si, R.; Chen, Z. B.; Li, S.; Chen, C. Y.; Yan, J.

Employing two state-of-the-art methods, multiconfiguration Dirac–Hartree–Fock and second-order many-body perturbation theory, the excitation energies and lifetimes for the lowest 200 states of the 2{s}22{p}4, 2s2{p}5, 2{p}6, 2{s}22{p}33s, 2{s}22{p}33p, 2{s}22{p}33d, 2s2{p}43s, 2s2{p}43p, and 2s2{p}43d configurations, and multipole (electric dipole (E1), magnetic dipole (M1), and electric quadrupole (E2)) transition rates, line strengths, and oscillator strengths among these states are calculated for each O-like ion, from Cr xvii to Zn xxiii. Our two data sets are compared with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and CHIANTI compiled values, and previous calculations. The data are accurate enough for identification and deblending of new emission lines from the Sun and other astrophysical sources. The amount of high-accuracy data is significantly increased for the n = 3 states of several O-like ions of astrophysical interest, where experimental data are very scarce.


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New Fe i Level Energies and Line Identifications from Stellar Spectra. II. Initial Results from New Ultraviolet Spectra of Metal-poor Stars

Peterson, Ruth C.; Kurucz, Robert L.; Ayres, Thomas R.

The Fe i spectrum is critical to many areas of astrophysics, yet many of the high-lying levels remain uncharacterized. To remedy this deficiency, Peterson & Kurucz identified Fe i lines in archival ultraviolet and optical spectra of metal-poor stars, whose warm temperatures favor moderate Fe i excitation. Sixty-five new levels were recovered, with 1500 detectable lines, including several bound levels in the ionization continuum of Fe i. Here, we extend the previous work by identifying 59 additional levels, with 1400 detectable lines, by incorporating new high-resolution UV spectra of warm metal-poor stars recently obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. We provide gf values for these transitions, both computed as well as adjusted to fit the stellar spectra. We also expand our spectral calculations to the infrared, confirming three levels by matching high-quality spectra of the Sun and two cool stars in the H-band. The predicted gf values suggest that an additional 3700 Fe i lines should be detectable in existing solar infrared spectra. Extending the empirical line identification work to the infrared would help confirm additional Fe i levels, as would new high-resolution UV spectra of metal-poor turnoff stars below 1900 Å.


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Radiative data for highly excited 3d84d levels in Ni II from laboratory measurements and atomic calculations

Hartman, H.; Engström, L.; Lundberg, H.; Nilsson, H.; Quinet, P.; Fivet, V.; Palmeri, P.; Malcheva, G.; Blagoev, K.

Aims: This work reports new experimental radiative lifetimes and calculated oscillator strengths for transitions from 3d84d levels of astrophysical interest in singly ionized nickel.
Methods: Radiative lifetimes of seven high-lying levels of even parity in Ni II (98 400-100 600 cm-1) have been measured using the time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence method. Two-step photon excitation of ions produced by laser ablation has been utilized to populate the levels. Theoretical calculations of the radiative lifetimes of the measured levels and transition probabilities from these levels are reported. The calculations have been performed using a pseudo-relativistic Hartree-Fock method, taking into account core polarization effects.
Results: A new set of transition probabilities and oscillator strengths has been deduced for 477 Ni II transitions of astrophysical interest in the spectral range 194-520 nm depopulating even parity 3d84d levels. The new calculated gf-values are, on the average, about 20% higher than a previous calculation and yield lifetimes within 5% of the experimental values.


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A study on missing lines in the synthetic solar spectrum near the Ca triplet

Kitamura, Jessica R.; Martins, Lucimara P.; Coelho, Paula

Synthetic stellar spectra are extensively used for many different applications in astronomy, from stellar studies (such as in the determination of atmospheric parameters of observed stellar spectra), to extragalactic studies (e.g. as one of the main ingredients of stellar population models). One of the main ingredients of synthetic spectral libraries are the atomic and molecular line lists, which contain the data required to model all the absorption lines that should appear in these spectra. Although currently available line lists contain millions of lines, a relatively small fraction of these lines have accurate derived or measured transition parameters. As a consequence, many of these lines contain errors in the electronic transition parameters that can reach up to 200%. Furthermore, even for the Sun, our closest and most studied star, state-of-the-art synthetic spectra does not reproduce all the observed lines, indicating transitions that are missing in the line lists of the computed synthetic spectra. Given the importance and wide range of applications of these models, improvement of their quality is urgently necessary. In this work we catalogued missing lines in the atomic and molecular line lists used for the calculation of the synthetic spectra in the region of Gaia, comparing a solar model computed via a recent line list with a high quality solar atlas available in the literature. After that, we attempted the calibration of their atomic parameters with the code ALLiCE; the calibrated line parameters are publicly available for use.


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