Electron-Impact Uncertainty Analysis and its Impact on Certain Temperature Diagnostics

 Robert Sutherland,  A. Foster,  S. Loch,  R. K. Smith, C. P. Ballance

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In this study we calculate the electron-impact uncertainties in atomic data for direct ionization and recombination and investigate the role of these uncertainties on spectral diagnostics. We outline a systematic approach to assigning meaningful uncertainties that vary with electron temperature. Once these uncertainty parameters have been evaluated, we can then calculate the uncertainties on key diagnostics through a Monte Carlo routine, using the Astrophysical Emission Code (APEC) [Smith et al. 2001]. We incorporate these uncertainties into well known temperature diagnostics, such as the Lyman alpha versus resonance line ratio and the G ratio. We compare these calculations to a study performed by [Testa et al. 2004], where significant discrepancies in the two diagnostic ratios were observed. We conclude that while the atomic physics uncertainties play a noticeable role in the discrepancies observed by Testa, they do not explain all of them. This indicates that there is another physical process occurring in the system that is not being taken into account. This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation REU and Department of Defense ASSURE programs under NSF Grant no. 1262851 and by the Smithsonian Institution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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