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dc.contributor.advisor Weisheit, Jon C.
dc.creatorMurillo, Michael Sean
dc.date.accessioned 2009-06-04T00:20:44Z
dc.date.available 2009-06-04T00:20:44Z
dc.date.issued 1995
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/16865
dc.description.abstract Motivation for the study of hot, dense ($\sim$solid density) plasmas has historically been in connection with stellar interiors. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in such plasmas due to their relevance to short wavelength (EUV and x-ray) lasers, inertial confinement fusion, and optical harmonic generation. In constrast to the stellar plasmas, these laboratory plasmas are typically composed of high-z elements and are not in thermal equilibrium. Descriptions of nonthermal plasma experiments must necessarily involve the consideration of the various atomic processes and the rates at which they occur. Traditionally, the rates of collisional atomic processes are calculated by considering a binary collision picture. For example, a single electron may be taken to collisionally excite an ion. A cross section may be defined for this process and, multiplying by a flux, the rate may be obtained. In a high density plasma this binary picture clearly breaks down as the electrons no longer act independently of each other. The cross section is ill-defined in this regime and another approach is needed to obtain rates. In this thesis an approach based on computing rates without recourse to a cross section is presented. In this approach, binary collisions are replaced by stochastic density fluctuations. It is then these density fluctuations which drive transitions in the ions. Furthermore, the oscillator strengths for the transitions are computed in screened Coulomb potentials which reflect the average polarization of the plasma near the ion. Numerical computations are presented for the collisional ionization rate. The effects of screening in the plasma-ion interaction are investigated for $He\sp+$ ions in a plasma near solid density. It is shown that dynamic screening plays an important role in this process. Then, density effects in the oscillator strength are explored for both $He\sp+$ and $Ar\sp{+17}.$ Approximations which introduce a nonorthogonality between the initial and final states is shown to introduce a nonnegligible error. Changes in the bound state energy levels are included in the calculation as well and are shown to dramatically increase the ionization rate over the low density result. Finally, a calculation is presented in which the final state wavefunctions are found exactly within a (density-dependent) screened Coulomb potential.
dc.format.extent 99 p.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subjectPlasma physics
dc.title Atomic transitions in dense plasmas
dc.type.genre Thesis
dc.type.material Text
thesis.degree.department Physics
thesis.degree.discipline Natural Sciences
thesis.degree.grantor Rice University
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy
dc.identifier.citation Murillo, Michael Sean. "Atomic transitions in dense plasmas." (1995) Diss., Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/16865.


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