Isotope shift and search for metastable superheavy elements in astrophysical data [CL]

Spectral lines belonging to the short-lifetime heavy radioactive elements up to Es ($Z$=99) have been found in the spectra of the Przybylski’s star. We suggest that these unstable elements may be decay products of a “magic” metastable nucleus belonging to the the island of stability where the nuclei have a magic number of neutrons $N=184$. The laboratory-produced nuclei have a significantly smaller number of neutrons. To identify spectra of the $N=184$ isotopes of these nuclei and their neutron-reach superheavy decay products in astrophysical data we calculate the isotope shift which should be added to the laboratory – measured wavelenghs. The results for the isotopic shifts in the strongest optical electromagnetic transitions in No, Lr, Nh, Fl,and $Z$=120 elements are presented.

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V. Dzuba, V. Flambaum and J. Webb
Tue, 14 Mar 17

Comments: 4 pages, no figures


Charge exchange in the ultraviolet: implication for interacting clouds in the core of NGC 1275 [GA]

Charge exchange emission is known to provide a key diagnostic to the interface between hot and cold matter in many astrophysical environments. Most of the recent charge exchange studies focus on its emission in the X-ray band, but few on the UV part, although the latter can also provide a powerful probe of the charge exchange process. An atomic calculation, as well as an application to observed data, are presented to explore and describe the potential use of the UV data for the study of cosmic charge exchange. Using the newest charge exchange model in the SPEX code v3.03, we re-analyze an archival Hubble STIS data of the central region of NGC 1275. The NGC 1275 spectrum shows hints for three possible weak lines at about 1223.6~{\AA}, 1242.4~{\AA}, and 1244.0~{\AA}, each with a significance of about $2-3\sigma$. The putative features are best explained by charge exchange between highly ionized hydrogen, neon, and sulfur with neutral matter. The wavelengths of the charge exchange lines are found robustly with uncertainties $\leq 0.3$~{\AA}. The possible charge exchange emission shows a line-of-sight velocity offset of about $-3400$ km s$^{-1}$ with respect to the NGC 1275 nucleus, which resembles one of the Ly$\alpha$ absorbers reported in Baum et al. (2005). This indicates that the charge exchange lines might be emitted as the same position of the absorber, which could be ascribed to outflowing gas from the nucleus.

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L. Gu, J. Mao, C. ODea, et. al.
Mon, 6 Mar 17

Comments: accepted for publication in A&A

Radiative association of C(${}^3P$) and H${}^+$: Triplet states [CL]

The radiative association of C(${}^3P$) and H${}^+$ is investigated by calculating cross sections for photon emission into bound ro-vibrational states of CH${}^+$ from the vibrational continua of initial triplet d$\,{}^3\Pi$ or b$\,{}^3\Sigma^-$ states. Potential energy curves and transition dipole moments are calculated using multi-reference configuration interaction (MRCI) methods with AV6Z basis sets. The cross sections are evaluated using quantum-mechanical methods and rate coefficients are calculated. The rate coefficients are about 100 times larger than those for radiative association of C${}^+({}^2{P^o})$ and H from the A$\,{}^1\Pi$ state. We also confirm that the formation of CH${}^+$ by radiative association of C${}^+({}^2{P^o})$ and H via the triplet c$\,{}^3\Sigma^+$ state is a minor process.

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J. Babb and B. McLaughlin
Tue, 28 Feb 17

Comments: 7 pages

Experimental demonstration of a fifth force due to chameleon field via cold atoms [CEA]

We tested a fifth force using cold atom experiments. The accelerated expansion of the universe implies the possibility of the presence of a scalar field throughout the universe driving the acceleration. This field would result in a detectable force between normal-matter objects. Theory of the chameleon field states that the force should be strong in a thin shell near the surface of a source object but greatly suppressed inside and outside of the source object. We used two atom clouds: one as the source and the other as the test mass; so the test mass can pass through the thin-shell region of the source mass. We detected the chameleon force and obtained the couple constant of about 4.5E11 between matter and the field. The chameleon force is considerably larger than Newtonian gravity at short distance; the interaction range is short enough to satisfy all experimental bounds on deviations from general relativity.

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H. Zhang
Mon, 13 Feb 17

Comments: 18 pages, 5 figures

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

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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F. Guzman, N. Badnell, M. Chatzikos, et. al.
Mon, 30 Jan 17

Comments: 7 pages, 6 fig, 2 tables, accepted in MNRAS

PAMOP project: computations in support of experiments and astrophysical applications [CL]

Our computation effort is primarily concentrated on support of current and future measurements being carried out at various synchrotron radiation facilities around the globe, and photodissociation computations for astrophysical applications. In our work we solve the Schr\”odinger or Dirac equation for the appropriate collision problem using the R-matrix or R-matrix with pseudo-states approach from first principles. The time dependent close-coupling (TDCC) method is also used in our work. A brief summary of the methodology and ongoing developments implemented in the R-matrix suite of Breit-Pauli and Dirac-Atomic R-matrix codes (DARC) is presented.

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B. McLaughlin, C. Ballance, M. Pindzola, et. al.
Tue, 17 Jan 17

Comments: 17 pages, 10 figures: chapter in the book, High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering’16, edited by W. E. Nagel, D. B. Kr\”oner, and M. Reich (Springer, New York and Berlin, 2017)

Radiative data for highly excited 3d8 4d levels in Ni II from laboratory measurements and atomic calculations [SSA]

This work reports new experimental radiative lifetimes and calculated oscillator strengths for transitions from 3d8 4d levels of astrophysical interest in singly ionized nickel. Radiative lifetimes of seven high-lying levels of even parity in Ni II (98400 -100600 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. 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 3d8 4d levels. The new calculated gf-values are, on the average, about 20 % higher than a previous calculation by Kurucz (this http URL) and yield lifetimes within 5 % of the experimental values.

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H. Hartman, L. Engstrom, H. Lundberg, et. al.
Wed, 11 Jan 17

Comments: 17 pages

Testing sub-gravitational forces on atoms from a miniature, in-vacuum source mass [CL]

Gravity is the weakest fundamental interaction and the only one that has not been measured at the particle level. Traditional experimental methods, from astronomical observations to torsion balances, use macroscopic masses to both source and probe gravitational fields. Matter wave interferometers have used neutrons, atoms and molecular clusters as microscopic test particles, but initially probed the field sourced by the entire earth. Later, the gravitational field arising from hundreds of kilograms of artificial source masses was measured with atom interferometry. Miniaturizing the source mass and moving it into the vacuum chamber could improve positioning accuracy, allow the use of monocrystalline source masses for improved gravitational measurements, and test new physics, such as beyond-standard-model (“fifth”) forces of nature and non-classical effects of gravity. In this work, we detect the gravitational force between freely falling cesium atoms and an in-vacuum, centimeter-sized source mass using atom interferometry with state-of-the-art sensitivity. The ability to sense gravitational-strength coupling is conjectured to access a natural lower bound for fundamental forces, thereby representing an important milestone in searches for physics beyond the standard model. A local, in-vacuum source mass is particularly sensitive to a wide class of interactions whose effects would otherwise be suppressed beyond detectability in regions of high matter density. For example, our measurement strengthens limits on a number of cosmologically-motivated scalar field models, such as chameleon and symmetron fields, by over two orders of magnitude and paves the way toward novel measurements of Newton’s gravitational constant G and the gravitational Aharonov-Bohm effect

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M. Jaffe, P. Haslinger, V. Xu, et. al.
Fri, 16 Dec 16

Comments: N/A

Stellar laboratories. VIII. New Zr IV – VII, Xe IV – V, and Xe VII oscillator strengths and the Al, Zr, and Xe abundances in the hot white dwarfs G191-B2B and RE0503-289 [CL]

For the spectral analysis of high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise spectra of hot stars, state-of-the-art non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model atmospheres are mandatory. These are strongly dependent on the reliability of the atomic data that is used for their calculation.
To search for Zr and Xe lines in the ultraviolet (UV) spectra of G191-B2B and RE0503-289, new Zr IV-VII, Xe IV-V, and Xe VIII oscillator strengths were calculated. This allows for the first time, determination of the Zr abundance in white dwarf (WD) stars and improvement of the Xe abundance determinations.
We calculated Zr IV-VII, Xe IV-V, and Xe VIII oscillator strengths to consider radiative and collisional bound-bound transitions of Zr and Xe in our NLTE stellar-atmosphere models for the analysis of their lines exhibited in UV observations of the hot WDs G191-B2B and RE0503-289.
We identified one new Zr IV, 14 new Zr V, and ten new Zr VI lines in the spectrum of RE0503-289. Zr was detected for the first time in a WD. We measured a Zr abundance of -3.5 +/- 0.2 (logarithmic mass fraction, approx. 11 500 times solar). We dentified five new Xe VI lines and determined a Xe abundance of -3.9 +/- 0.2 (approx. 7500 times solar). We determined a preliminary photospheric Al abundance of -4.3 +/- 0.2 (solar) in RE0503-289. In the spectra of G191-B2B, no Zr line was identified. The strongest Zr IV line (1598.948 A) in our model gave an upper limit of -5.6 +/- 0.3 which is about 100 times solar. No Xe line was identified in the UV spectrum of G191-B2B and we confirmed the previously determined upper limit of -6.8 +/- 0.3 (ten times solar).
Precise measurements and calculations of atomic data are a prerequisite for advanced NLTE stellar-atmosphere modeling. Observed Zr IV – VI and Xe VI – VII line profiles in the UV spectrum of RE0503-289 were simultaneously well reproduced.

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T. Rauch, S. Gamrath, P. Quinet, et. al.
Wed, 23 Nov 16

Comments: 137 pages, 11 figures

Non-Elastic Processes in Atom Rydberg-Atom Collisions: Review of State of Art and Problems [CL]

In our previous research, it has been demonstrated that such inelastic processes in atom Rydberg-atom collisions, as chemi-ionization and (n-n’) mixing, should be considered together. Here we will review the present state of the art and the actual problems will be discussed. In this context, we will consider the influence of the (n-n’)-mixing during a symmetric atom Rydberg-atom collision processes on the intensity of chemi-ionization process. It will be taken into account H(1s) + H*(n) collisional systems, where the principal quantum number n $>>$ 1. It will be demonstrated that the inclusion of (n-n’) mixing in the calculation, influences significantly on the values of chemi-ionization rate coefficients, particularly in the lower part of the block of the Rydberg states. Different possible channels of the (n-n’)-mixing influence on chemi-ionization rate coefficients will be demonstrated. The possibility of interpretation of the (n-n’)-mixing influence will be considered on the basis of two existing methods for describing of the inelastic processes in symmetrical atom Rydberg-atom collisions.

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A. Mihajlov, V. Sreckovic, L. Ignjatovic, et. al.
Tue, 22 Nov 16

Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures

Energy levels, radiative rates and electron impact excitation rates for transitions in Si III [CL]

Energy levels and radiative rates (A-values) for four types of transitions (E1, E2, M1, and M2) are reported for an astrophysically important Mg-like ion Si~III, whose emission lines have been observed in a variety of plasmas. For the calculations, well-known and widely-used GRASP code has been adopted, and results are listed for transitions among the 141 levels of the 3$\ell3\ell’$ and 3$\ell$4$\ell$ configurations. Experimental energies are available for only the lowest 58 levels but there is no major discrepancy with theoretical results. Similarly, the A-values and lifetimes show a satisfactory agreement with other available results, particularly for strong E1 transitions. Collision strengths are also calculated, with the DARC code, and listed for resonance transitions over a wide energy range, up to 30~Ryd. No similar results are available in the literature for comparisons. However, comparisons are made with the more important parameter, effective collision strength ($\Upsilon$), for which recent $R$-matrix results are available for a wide range of transitions, and over a large range of temperatures. To determine $\Upsilon$, resonances have been resolved in a narrow energy mesh, although these are not observed to be as important as for other ions. Unfortunately, large discrepancies in $\Upsilon$ values are noted for about half the transitions. The differences increase with increasing temperature and worsen as the upper level J increases. In most cases the earlier results are overestimated, by up to (almost) two orders of magnitude, and this conclusion is consistent with the one observed earlier for Be-like ions.

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K. Aggarwal
Wed, 16 Nov 16

Comments: 17 pages of text including 6 figures and 4 Tables will be published in ADNDT (2017)

Hot DA white dwarf model atmosphere calculations: Including improved Ni PI cross sections [SSA]

To calculate realistic models of objects with Ni in their atmospheres, accurate atomic data for the relevant ionization stages needs to be included in model atmosphere calculations. In the context of white dwarf stars, we investigate the effect of changing the Ni {\sc iv}-{\sc vi} bound-bound and bound-free atomic data has on model atmosphere calculations. Models including PICS calculated with {\sc autostructure} show significant flux attenuation of up to $\sim 80$\% shortward of 180\AA\, in the EUV region compared to a model using hydrogenic PICS. Comparatively, models including a larger set of Ni transitions left the EUV, UV, and optical continua unaffected. We use models calculated with permutations of this atomic data to test for potential changes to measured metal abundances of the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B. Models including {\sc autostructure} PICS were found to change the abundances of N and O by as much as $\sim 22$\% compared to models using hydrogenic PICS, but heavier species were relatively unaffected. Models including {\sc autostructure} PICS caused the abundances of N/O {\sc iv} and {\sc v} to diverge. This is because the increased opacity in the {\sc autostructure} PICS model causes these charge states to form higher in the atmosphere, moreso for N/O {\sc v}. Models using an extended line list caused significant changes to the Ni {\sc iv}-{\sc v} abundances. While both PICS and an extended line list cause changes in both synthetic spectra and measured abundances, the biggest changes are caused by using {\sc autostructure} PICS for Ni.

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S. Preval, M. Barstow, N. Badnell, et. al.
Tue, 1 Nov 16

Comments: 14 pages, 9 figures, 7 tables. Accepted for publication in MNRAS

Infrared Opacities in Dense Atmospheres of Cool White Dwarf Stars [SSA]

Dense, He-rich atmospheres of cool white dwarfs represent a challenge to the modeling. This is because these atmospheres are constituted of a dense fluid in which strong multi-atomic interactions determine their physics and chemistry. Therefore, the ideal-gas-based description of absorption is no longer adequate, which makes the opacities of these atmospheres difficult to model. This is illustrated with severe problems in fitting the spectra of cool, He-rich stars. Good description of the infrared (IR) opacity is essential for proper assignment of the atmospheric parameters of these stars. Using methods of computational quantum chemistry we simulate the IR absorption of dense He/H media. We found a significant IR absorption from He atoms (He-He-He CIA opacity) and a strong pressure distortion of the H$_2$-He collision-induced absorption (CIA). We discuss the implication of these results for interpretation of the spectra of cool stars.

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P. Kowalski, S. Blouin and P. Dufour
Tue, 25 Oct 16

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures, Proceedings of the EUROWD2016 workshop. To be published in ASPCS

Laser remote magnetometry using mesospheric sodium [IMA]

We have demonstrated a remote magnetometer based on sodium atoms in the Earth’s mesosphere, at a 106-kilometer distance from our instrument. A 1.33-watt laser illuminated the atoms, and the magnetic field was inferred from back-scattered light collected by a telescope with a 1.55-meter-diameter aperture. The measurement sensitivity was 162 nT/$\sqrt{Hz}$. The value of magnetic field inferred from our measurement is consistent with an estimate based on the Earth’s known field shape to within a fraction of a percent. Projected improvements in optics could lead to sensitivity of 20 nT/$\sqrt{Hz}$, and the use of advanced lasers or a large telescope could approach 1-nT/$\sqrt{Hz}$ sensitivity. All experimental and theoretical sensitivity values are based on a 60{\deg} angle between the laser beam axis and the magnetic field vector; at the optimal 90{\deg} angle sensitivity would be improved by about a factor of two.

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T. Kane, P. Hillman, C. Denman, et. al.
Wed, 19 Oct 16

Comments: 15 pages, 15 figures, 4 tables

Modeling the Spectra of Dense Hydrogen Plasmas: Beyond Occupation Probability [SSA]

Accurately measuring the masses of white dwarf stars is crucial in many astrophysical contexts (e.g., asteroseismology and cosmochronology). These masses are most commonly determined by fitting a model atmosphere to an observed spectrum; this is known as the spectroscopic method. However, for cases in which more than one method may be employed, there are well known discrepancies between masses determined by the spectroscopic method and those determined by astrometric, dynamical, and/or gravitational-redshift methods. In an effort to resolve these discrepancies, we are developing a new model of hydrogen in a dense plasma that is a significant departure from previous models. Experiments at Sandia National Laboratories are currently underway to validate these new models, and we have begun modifications to incorporate these models into stellar-atmosphere codes.

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T. Gomez, M. Montgomery, T. Nagayama, et. al.
Mon, 10 Oct 16

Comments: 6 pages, 4 figures, to appear in the Proceedings of The 20th European Workshop on White Dwarfs

Photoionisation of Cl$^+$ from the $3s^23p^4\;^3P_{2,1,0}$ and the$3s^23p^4\;^1D_2, ^1S_0$ states in the energy range 19 – 28 eV [CL]

Absolute photoionisation cross sections for the Cl$^+$ ion in its ground and the metastable states; $3s^2 3p^4\; ^3P_{2,1,0}$, and $3s^2 3p^4\; ^1D_2,\; ^1S_0$, were measured recently at the Advanced Light Source ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory using the merged beams photon-ion technique at an photon energy resolution of 15 meV in the energy range 19 — 28 eV. These measurements are compared with large-scale Dirac Coulomb {\it R}-matrix calculations in the same energy range. Photoionisation of this sulphur-like chlorine ion is characterized by multiple Rydberg series of autoionizing resonances superimposed on a direct photoionisation continuum. A wealth of resonance features observed in the experimental spectra are spectroscopically assigned and their resonance parameters tabulated and compared with the recent measurements. Metastable fractions in the parent ion beam are determined from the present study. Theoretical resonance energies and quantum defects of the prominent Rydberg series $3s^2 3p^3 nd$, identified in the spectra as $3p\rightarrow nd$ transitions are compared with the available measurements made on this element. Weaker Rydberg series $3s^2 3p^3 ns$, identified as $3p \rightarrow ns$ transitions and window resonances $3s3p^4 (^4P)np$ features, due to $3s \rightarrow np$ transitions are also found in the spectra.

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B. McLaughlin
Mon, 3 Oct 16

Comments: 12 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables., accepted for publication in MNRAS. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1412.8715

Electron impact excitation rates for transitions in Mg V [CL]

Energy levels, radiative rates (A-values) and lifetimes, calculated with the GRASP code, are reported for an astrophysically important O-like ion Mg~V. Results are presented for transitions among the lowest 86 levels belonging to the 2s$^2$2p$^4$, 2s2p$^5$, 2p$^6$, and 2s$^2$2p$^3$3$\ell$ configurations. There is satisfactory agreement with earlier data for most levels/transitions, but scope remains for improvement. Collision strengths are also calculated, with the DARC code, and the results obtained are comparable for most transitions (at energies above thresholds) with earlier work using the DW code. In thresholds region, resonances have been resolved in a fine energy mesh to determine values of effective collision strengths ($\Upsilon$) as accurately as possible. Results are reported for all transitions at temperatures up to 10$^6$~K, which should be sufficient for most astrophysical applications. However, a comparison with earlier data reveals discrepancies of up to two orders of magnitude for over 60\% of transitions, at all temperatures. The reasons for these discrepancies are discussed in detail.

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K. Aggarwal and F. Keenan
Wed, 28 Sep 16

Comments: 11p of Text, 6 Tables and 6 Figures will appear in Canadian J. Physics (2017)

Lifetimes and Oscillator Strengths for Ultraviolet Transitions in Singly-Ionized Tin [CL]

Lifetime measurements using beam foil techniques for the $5s5p^{2}$ $^{2}D_{3/2,5/2}$ levels in Sn II are presented. The resulting oscillator strengths for transitions at 1699.4, 1831.8 and 1811.2 \AA{} are reported. We also studied these levels with multi-configuration Dirac Hartree-Fock (MCDHF) calculations using a development version of the GRASP2K package. Our experimental and theoretical results are compared with other available studies.

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N. Heidarian, R. Irving, S. Federman, et. al.
Fri, 23 Sep 16

Comments: N/A

Experimental radiative lifetimes for highly excited states and calculated oscillator strengths for lines of astrophysical interest in singly ionized cobalt (Co II) [SSA]

This work reports new experimental radiative lifetimes and calculated oscillator strengths for transitions of astrophysical interest in singly ionized cobalt. More pre- cisely, nineteen radiative lifetimes in Co+ have been measured with the time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence technique using one- and two-step excitations. Out of these, seven belonging to the high lying 3d$^7$($^4$F)4d configuration in the energy range 90697 – 93738 cm$^{-1}$ are new, and the other twelve from th3d$^7$($^4$F)F)4p configuration with energies between 45972 and 49328 cm$^{-1}$1 are compared with previous measurements. In addition, a relativistic Hartree-Fock model including core-polarization e?ects has been employed to compute transition rates. Supported by the good agreement between theory and experiment for the lifetimes, new reliable transition probabilities and os- cillator strengths have been deduced for 5080 Co II transitions in the spectral range 114 – 8744 nm.

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P. Quinet, V. Fivet, P. Palmeri, et. al.
Fri, 9 Sep 16

Comments: N/A

Laboratory Measurements of the K-shell transition energies in L-shell ions of Si and S [CL]

We have measured the energies of the strongest 1s-2ell (ell=s,p) transitions in He- through Ne-like silicon and sulfur ions to an accuracy of better than 1eV using Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s electron beam ion traps, EBIT-I and SuperEBIT, and the NASA/GSFC EBIT Calorimeter Spectrometer (ECS). We identify and measure the energies of 18 and 21 X-ray features from silicon and sulfur, respectively. The results are compared to new Flexible Atomic Code calculations and to semi-relativistic Hartree Fock calculations by Palmeri et al. (2008). These results will be especially useful for wind diagnostics in high mass X-ray binaries, such as Vela X-1 and Cygnus X-1, where high-resolution spectral measurements using Chandra’s high energy transmission grating has made it possible to measure Doppler shifts of 100km/s. The accuracy of our measurements is consistent with that needed to analyze Chandra observations, exceeding Chandra’s 100km/s limit. Hence, the results presented here not only provide benchmarks for theory, but also accurate rest energies that can be used to determine the bulk motion of material in astrophysical sources. We show the usefulness of our results by applying them to redetermine Doppler shifts from Chandra observations of Vela X-1.

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N. Hell, G. Brown, J. Wilms, et. al.
Mon, 5 Sep 16

Comments: ApJ, in press

H, He-like recombination spectra II: $l$-changing collisions for He Rydberg states [CEA]

Cosmological models can be constrained by determining primordial abundances. Accurate predictions of the He I spectrum are needed to determine the primordial helium abundance to a precision of $< 1$% in order to constrain Big Bang Nucleosynthesis models. Theoretical line emissivities at least this accurate are needed if this precision is to be achieved. In the first paper of this series, which focused on H I, we showed that differences in $l$-changing collisional rate coefficients predicted by three different theories can translate into 10% changes in predictions for H I spectra. Here we consider the more complicated case of He atoms, where low-$l$ subshells are not energy degenerate. A criterion for deciding when the energy separation between $l$ subshells is small enough to apply energy-degenerate collisional theories is given. Moreover, for certain conditions, the Bethe approximation originally proposed by Pengelly & Seaton (1964) is not sufficiently accurate. We introduce a simple modification of this theory which leads to rate coefficients which agree well with those obtained from pure quantal calculations using the approach of Vrinceanu et al. (2012). We show that the $l$-changing rate coefficients from the different theoretical approaches lead to differences of $\sim 10$% in He I emissivities in simulations of H II regions using spectral code Cloudy.

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F. Guzman, N. Badnell, R. Williams, et. al.
Thu, 1 Sep 16

Comments: 9 pages, $ figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in MNRAS

Plasma-screening effects in the atrophysically relevant He-like and Li-like Mg and Fe ions [CL]

The effect of plasma environment on the atomic energy levels of He-like and Li-like Mg and Fe ions have been studied using Debye model. The equation-of-motion coupled-cluster (EOMCC) and Fock-space coupled-cluster (FSCC) formalisms in the relativistic frame work have been adopted to describe the atomic states and the energy levels of the above plasma embedded ions. Salient features of these methods have been described to account the two electron screening effects through the Debye potentials. The two-body screening potential has been derived in the multipole expansion form to evaluate the reduced matrix elements in solving the equation of motion. Using this extended model, we have also predicted that quasi-degeneracy among the energy states having same principal quantum number ($n$) but different angular momentum ($l$) is slacken, whereas fine structure splitting is unaffected with increasing plasma strength. These knowledge are useful in estimatingradiative opacity, photoionization cross sections, line intensities, etc of the aforementioned astrophysical plasmas.

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B. Sahoo and M. Das
Tue, 30 Aug 16

Comments: 10 pages, 5 tables and 4 figures

Laboratory measurements compellingly support charge-exchange mechanism for the 'dark matter' $\sim$3.5 keV X-ray line [HEAP]

The reported observations of an unidentified X-ray line feature at $\sim$3.5 keV have driven a lively discussion about its possible dark matter origin. Motivated by this, we have measured the \emph{K}-shell X-ray spectra of highly ionized bare sulfur ions following charge exchange with gaseous molecules in an electron beam ion trap, as a source of or a contributor to this X-ray line. We produce $\mathrm{S}^{16+}$ and $\mathrm{S}^{15+}$ ions and let them capture electrons in collision with those molecules with the electron beam turned off while recording X-ray spectra. We observed a charge-exchanged-induced X-ray feature at the Lyman series limit (3.47 $\pm$ 0.06 keV). The inferred X-ray energy is in full agreement with the reported astrophysical observations and supports the novel scenario proposed by Gu and Kaastra (A \& A \textbf{584}, {L11} (2015)).

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C. Shah, S. Dobrodey, S. Bernitt, et. al.
Thu, 18 Aug 16

Comments: 7 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

Electron impact excitation of N IV: calculations with the DARC code and a comparison with ICFT results [CL]

There have been discussions in the recent literature regarding the accuracy of the available electron impact excitation rates (equivalently effective collision strengths $\Upsilon$) for transitions in Be-like ions. In the present paper we demonstrate, once again, that earlier results for $\Upsilon$ are indeed overestimated (by up to four orders of magnitude), for over 40\% of transitions and over a wide range of temperatures. To do this we have performed two sets of calculations for N~IV, with two different model sizes consisting of 166 and 238 fine-structure energy levels. As in our previous work, for the determination of atomic structure the GRASP (General-purpose Relativistic Atomic Structure Package) is adopted and for the scattering calculations (the standard and parallelised versions of) the Dirac Atomic R-matrix Code ({\sc darc}) are employed. Calculations for collision strengths and effective collision strengths have been performed over a wide range of energy (up to 45~Ryd) and temperature (up to 2.0$\times$10$^6$~K), useful for applications in a variety of plasmas. Corresponding results for energy levels, lifetimes and A-values for all E1, E2, M1 and M2 transitions among 238 levels of N~IV are also reported.

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K. Aggarwal, F. Keenan and K. Lawson
Wed, 17 Aug 16

Comments: This paper with 5 Figs. and 8 Tables will appear in MNRAS (2016)

Comment on "Large enhancement in high-energy photoionization of Fe XVII and missing continuum plasma opacity" [CL]

Recent R-matrix calculations claim to produce a significant enhancement in the opacity of Fe XVII due to atomic core excitations [S. N. Nahar & A.K. Pradhan, Phys. Rev. Letters 116, 235003 (2016), arXiv:1606.02731] and assert that this enhancement is consistent with recent measurements of higher-than-predicted iron opacities [J. E. Bailey et al., Nature 517, 56 (2015)]. This comment shows that the standard opacity models which have already been directly compared with experimental data produce photon absorption cross-sections for Fe XVII that are effectively equivalent to (and in fact larger than) the new R-matrix opacities. Thus, the new R-matrix results cannot be expected to significantly impact the existing discrepancies between theory and experiment because they produce neither a “large enhancement” nor account for “missing continuum plasma opacity” relative to standard models.

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C. Blancard, J. Colgan, P. Cosse, et. al.
Fri, 12 Aug 16

Comments: three pages, one table, one figure

Suzaku and XMM-Newton Observations of the North Polar Spur: Charge Exchange or ISM Absorption? [HEAP]

By revisiting the Suzaku and XMM-Newton data of the North Polar Spur, we discovered that the spectra are inconsistent with the traditional model consisting of pure thermal emission and neutral absorption. The most prominent discrepancies are the enhanced O VII and Ne IX forbidden-to-resonance ratios, and a high O VIII Ly$\beta$ line relative to other Lyman series. A collisionally ionized absorption model can naturally explain both features, while a charge exchange component can only account for the former. By including the additional ionized absorption, the plasma in the North Polar Spur can be described by a single-phase CIE component with temperature of 0.25 keV, and nitrogen, oxygen, neon, magnesium, and iron abundances of $0.4-0.8$ solar. The abundance pattern of the North Polar Spur is well in line with those of the Galactic halo stars. The high nitrogen-to-oxygen ratio reported in previous studies can be migrated to the large transmission of the O VIII Ly$\alpha$ line. The ionized absorber is characterized by a balance temperature of $0.17-0.20$ keV and a column density of $3-5 \times 10^{19}$ cm$^{-2}$. Based on the derived abundances and absorption, we speculate that the North Polar Spur is a structure in the Galactic halo, so that the emission is mostly absorbed by Galactic ISM in the line of sight.

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L. Gu, J. Mao, E. Costantini, et. al.
Fri, 29 Jul 16

Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Density diagnostics derived from the OIV and SIV intercombination lines observed by IRIS [SSA]

The intensity of the \oiv~2s$^{2}$ 2p $^{2}$P-2s2p$^{2}$ $^{4}$P and \siv~3 s$^{2}$ 3p $^{2}$P- 3s 3p$^{2}$ $^{4}$ P intercombination lines around 1400~\AA~observed with the \textit{Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph} (IRIS) provide a useful tool to diagnose the electron number density ($N_\textrm{e}$) in the solar transition region plasma. We measure the electron number density in a variety of solar features observed by IRIS, including an active region (AR) loop, plage and brightening, and the ribbon of the 22-June-2015 M 6.5 class flare. By using the emissivity ratios of \oiv\ and \siv\ lines, we find that our observations are consistent with the emitting plasma being near isothermal (log$T$[K] $\approx$ 5) and iso-density ($N_\textrm{e}$ $\approx$~10$^{10.6}$ cm$^{-3}$) in the AR loop. Moreover, high electron number densities ($N_\textrm{e}$ $\approx$~10$^{13}$ cm$^{-3}$) are obtained during the impulsive phase of the flare by using the \siv\ line ratio. We note that the \siv\ lines provide a higher range of density sensitivity than the \oiv\ lines. Finally, we investigate the effects of high densities ($N_\textrm{e}$ $\gtrsim$ 10$^{11}$ cm$^{-3}$) on the ionization balance. In particular, the fractional ion abundances are found to be shifted towards lower temperatures for high densities compared to the low density case. We also explored the effects of a non-Maxwellian electron distribution on our diagnostic method.

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V. Polito, G. Zanna, J. Dudik, et. al.
Tue, 19 Jul 16

Comments: N/A

Scaling of collision strengths for highly-excited states of ions of the H- and He-like sequences [IMA]

Emission lines from highly-excited states (n >= 5) of H- and He-like ions have been detected in astrophysical sources and fusion plasmas. For such excited states, R-matrix or distorted wave calculations for electron-impact excitation are very limited, due to the large size of the atomic basis set needed to describe them. Calculations for n >= 6 are also not generally available. We study the behaviour of the electron-impact excitation collision strengths and effective collision strengths for the most important transitions used to model electron collision dominated astrophysical plasmas, solar, for example. We investigate the dependence on the relevant parameters: the principal quantum number n or the nuclear charge Z. We also estimate the importance of coupling to highly-excited states and the continuum by comparing the results of different sized calculations. We provide analytic formulae to calculate the electron-impact excitation collision strengths and effective collision strengths to highly-excited states (n >= 8) of H- and He-like ions. These extrapolated effective collision strengths can be used to interpret astrophysical and fusion plasma via collisional-radiative modelling.

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L. Fernandez-Menchero, G. Zanna and N. Badnell
Mon, 11 Jul 16

Comments: 9 pages, 11 figures, 5 tables, online material

Strong higher-order resonant contributions to x-ray line polarization in hot plasmas [CL]

We studied angular distributions of x rays emitted in resonant recombination of highly charged iron and krypton ions, resolving dielectronic, trielectronic, and quadruelectronic channels. A tunable electron beam drove these processes, inducing x rays registered by two detectors mounted along and perpendicular to the beam axis. The measured emission asymmetries comprehensively benchmarked full-order atomic calculations. We conclude that accurate polarization diagnostics of hot plasmas can only be obtained under the premise of inclusion of higher-order processes that were neglected in earlier work.

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C. Shah, P. Amaro, R. Steinbrugge, et. al.
Thu, 23 Jun 16

Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures

Precise limits on cosmological variability of the fine-structure constant with zinc and chromium quasar absorption lines [CEA]

The strongest transitions of Zn and CrII are the most sensitive to relative variations in the fine-structure constant ($\Delta\alpha/\alpha$) among the transitions commonly observed in quasar absorption spectra. They also lie within just 40 \AA\ of each other (rest frame), so they are resistant to the main systematic error affecting most previous measurements of $\Delta\alpha/\alpha$: long-range distortions of the wavelength calibration. While Zn and CrII absorption is normally very weak in quasar spectra, we obtained high signal-to-noise, high-resolution echelle spectra from the Keck and Very Large Telescopes of 9 rare systems where it is strong enough to constrain $\Delta\alpha/\alpha$ from these species alone. These provide 12 independent measurements (3 quasars were observed with both telescopes) at redshifts 1.0–2.4, 11 of which pass stringent reliability criteria. These 11 are all consistent with $\Delta\alpha/\alpha=0$ within their individual uncertainties of 3.5–13 parts per million (ppm), with a weighted mean $\Delta\alpha/\alpha = 0.4\pm1.4_{\rm stat}\pm0.9_{\rm sys}$ ppm (1$\sigma$ statistical and systematic uncertainties), indicating no significant cosmological variations in $\alpha$. This is the first statistical sample of absorbers that is resistant to long-range calibration distortions (at the $<$1 ppm level), with a precision comparable to previous large samples of $\sim$150 (distortion-affected) absorbers. Our systematic error budget is instead dominated by much shorter-range distortions repeated across echelle orders of individual spectra.

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M. Murphy, A. Malec and J. Prochaska
Wed, 22 Jun 16

Comments: 20 pages, 15 figures. Accepted by MNRAS. Quasar spectra and Zn/CrII absorption profile fits are available at this http URL

Polarization measurement of dielectronic recombination transitions in highly charged krypton ions [CL]

We report linear polarization measurements of x rays emitted due to dielectronic recombination into highly charged krypton ions. The ions in the He-like through O-like charge states were populated in an electron beam ion trap with the electron beam energy adjusted to recombination resonances in order to produce $K\alpha$ x rays. The x rays were detected with a newly developed Compton polarimeter using a beryllium scattering target and 12 silicon x-ray detector diodes sampling the azimuthal distribution of the scattered x rays. The extracted degrees of linear polarization of several dielectronic recombination transitions agree with results of relativistic distorted–wave calculations. We also demonstrate a high sensitivity of the polarization to the Breit interaction, which is remarkable for a medium-$Z$ element like krypton. The experimental results can be used for polarization diagnostics of hot astrophysical and laboratory fusion plasmas.

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C. Shah, H. Jorg, S. Bernitt, et. al.
Wed, 22 Jun 16

Comments: 11 pages, 4 figures

A Resonant Mode for Gravitational Wave Detectors based on Atom Interferometry [CL]

We describe a new atom interferometric gravitational wave detector design that can operate in a resonant mode for increased sensitivity. By oscillating the positions of the atomic wavepackets, this resonant detection mode allows for coherently enhanced, narrow-band sensitivity at target frequencies. The proposed detector is flexible and can be rapidly switched between broadband and narrow-band detection modes without changing hardware. For instance, a new binary discovered in broadband mode can subsequently be studied further as the inspiral evolves by using a tailored narrow-band detector response. In addition to functioning like a lock-in amplifier for astrophysical events, the enhanced sensitivity of the resonant approach also opens up the possibility of searching for important cosmological signals, including the stochastic gravitational wave background produced by inflation. We give an example of detector parameters which would allow detection of inflationary gravitational waves down to $\Omega_\text{GW} \sim 10^{-14}$ for a two satellite space-based detector.

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P. Graham, J. Hogan, M. Kasevich, et. al.
Tue, 7 Jun 16

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures

Gravitational wave detection with optical lattice atomic clocks [CL]

We propose a space-based gravitational wave detector consisting of two spatially separated, drag-free satellites sharing ultra-stable optical laser light over a single baseline. Each satellite contains an optical lattice atomic clock, which serves as a sensitive, narrowband detector of the local frequency of the shared laser light. A synchronized two-clock comparison between the satellites will be sensitive to the effective Doppler shifts induced by incident gravitational waves (GWs) at a level competitive with other proposed space-based GW detectors, while providing complementary features. The detected signal is a differential frequency shift of the shared laser light due to the relative velocity of the satellites, rather than a phase shift arising from the relative satellite positions, and the detection window can be tuned through the control sequence applied to the atoms’ internal states. This scheme enables the detection of GWs from continuous, spectrally narrow sources, such as compact binary inspirals, with frequencies ranging from ~3 mHz – 10 Hz without loss of sensitivity, thereby bridging the detection gap between space-based and terrestrial GW detectors. Our proposed GW detector employs just two satellites, is compatible with integration with an optical interferometric detector, and requires only realistic improvements to existing ground-based clock and laser technologies.

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S. Kolkowitz, I. Pikovski, N. Langellier, et. al.
Tue, 7 Jun 16

Comments: 8 pages, 2 figures, and supplemental material

Detecting dark matter waves with precision measurement tools [CL]

Virialized Ultra-Light Fields (VULFs) while being viable cold dark matter candidates can also solve the standard model hierarchy problem. Direct searches for VULFs due to their non-particle nature require low-energy precision measurement tools. Here we consider scalar VULF candidates. While the previous proposals have focused on detecting coherent oscillations of the measured signals at the VULF Compton frequencies at the device location, here we point out that VULFs also have a distinct spatial signature, forming dark matter waves. Thereby the discovery reach can be improved by using distributed networks of precision measurement tools. We find the expected dark-matter wave signal by deriving spatio-temporal two-point VULF correlation function. Based on the developed formalism for coherence properties of dark-matter fields, we propose several experiments for dark matter wave detection. In the most basic version, the modifications to already running experiments are minor and only require GPS-assisted time-stamping of data. We also derive the expected dark matter line profile for individual detectors.

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A. Derevianko
Wed, 1 Jun 16

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figs

Energy levels and radiative rates for transitions in Fe V, Co VI and Ni VII [CL]

Energy levels, Land\'{e} $g$-factors and radiative lifetimes are reported for the lowest 182 levels of the 3d$^4$, 3d$^3$4s and 3d$^3$4p configurations of Fe~V, Co~VI and Ni~VII. Additionally, radiative rates ($A$-values) have been calculated for the E1, E2 and M1 transitions among these levels. The calculations have been performed in a quasi-relativistic approach (QR) with a very large {\em configuration interaction} (CI) wavefunction expansion, which has been found to be necessary for these ions. Our calculated energies for all ions are in excellent agreement with the available measurements, for most levels. Discrepancies among various calculations for the radiative rates of E1 transitions in Fe~V are up to a factor of two for stronger transitions ($f \geq 0.1$), and larger (over an order of magnitude) for weaker ones. The reasons for these discrepancies have been discussed and mainly are due to the differing amount of CI and methodologies adopted. However, there are no appreciable discrepancies in similar data for M1 and E2 transitions, or the $g$-factors for the levels of Fe~V, the only ion for which comparisons are feasible.

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K. Aggarwal, P. Bogdanovich, F. Keenan, et. al.
Fri, 27 May 16

Comments: This paper of 78 pages including 9 Tables will appear in ADNDT (2016)

Sensitivity of atom interferometry to ultralight scalar field dark matter [CL]

We discuss the use of atom interferometry as a tool to search for Dark Matter (DM) composed of ultra-light scalar fields. Previous work on ultra-light DM detection using accelerometers has considered the possibility of equivalence principle violating effects whereby gradients in the dark matter field can directly produce relative accelerations between media of differing composition. In atom interferometers, we find that time-varying phase signals from oscillatory, or dilaton-like, DM can also arise due to changes in the atom rest mass that can occur between light-pulses throughout the interferometer sequence as well as changes in the earth’s gravitational field. We estimate that several orders of magnitude of unexplored phase space for light DM fields can be probed with our proposed method.

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A. Geraci and A. Derevianko
Mon, 16 May 16

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures

Improved limits on interactions of low-mass spin-0 dark matter from atomic clock spectroscopy [CL]

Low-mass (sub-eV) spin-0 dark matter particles, which form a coherently oscillating classical field $\phi = \phi_0 \cos(m_\phi t)$, can induce oscillating variations in the fundamental constants through their interactions with the Standard Model sector. We calculate the effects of such possible interactions, which may include the linear interaction of $\phi$ with the Higgs boson, on atomic and molecular transitions. Using recent atomic clock spectroscopy measurements, we derive new limits on the linear interaction of $\phi$ with the Higgs boson, as well as its quadratic interactions with the photon and light quarks. For the linear interaction of $\phi$ with the Higgs boson, our derived limits improve on existing constraints by up to $2-3$ orders of magnitude.

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Y. Stadnik and V. Flambaum
Mon, 16 May 16

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures

Photon Bubble Turbulence in Cold Atomic Gases [CL]

Turbulent radiation flow is ubiquitous in many physical systems where light-matter interaction becomes relevant. Photon bubbling, in particular, has been identified as the main source of turbulent radiation transport in many astrophysical objects, such as stars and accretion disks. This mechanism takes place when radiation trapping in optically dense media becomes unstable, leading to the energy dissipation from the larger to the smaller bubbles. Here, we report on the observation of photon bubble turbulence in cold atomic gases in the presence of multiple scattering of light. The instability is theoretically explained by a fluid description for the atom density coupled to a diffusive transport equation for the photons, which is known to be accurate in the multiple scattering regime investigated here. We determine the power spectrum of the atom density fluctuations, which displays an unusual $\sim k^{-4}$ scaling, and entails a complex underlying turbulent dynamics resulting from the formation of dynamical bubble-like structures. We derive a power spectrum from the theoretical photon bubble model which, to a high level of accuracy, explains the observations. The experimental results reported here, along with the theoretical model we developed may shed light on the analogue photon bubble instabilities in astrophysical scenarios.

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J. Rodrigues, J. Rodrigues, A. Ferreira, et. al.
Thu, 28 Apr 16

Comments: 5 pages

Ultraviolet emission lines of Si II in quasars — investigating the "Si II disaster" [GA]

The observed line intensity ratios of the Si II 1263 and 1307 \AA\ multiplets to that of Si II 1814\,\AA\ in the broad line region of quasars are both an order of magnitude larger than the theoretical values. This was first pointed out by Baldwin et al. (1996), who termed it the “Si II disaster”, and it has remained unresolved. We investigate the problem in the light of newly-published atomic data for Si II. Specifically, we perform broad line region calculations using several different atomic datasets within the CLOUDY modeling code under optically thick quasar cloud conditions. In addition, we test for selective pumping by the source photons or intrinsic galactic reddening as possible causes for the discrepancy, and also consider blending with other species. However, we find that none of the options investigated resolves the Si II disaster, with the potential exception of microturbulent velocity broadening and line blending. We find that a larger microturbulent velocity ($\sim 500 \rm \, kms^{-1}$) may solve the Si II disaster through continuum pumping and other effects. The CLOUDY models indicate strong blending of the Si II 1307 \AA\ multiplet with emission lines of O I, although the predicted degree of blending is incompatible with the observed 1263/1307 intensity ratios. Clearly, more work is required on the quasar modelling of not just the Si II lines but also nearby transitions (in particular those of O I) to fully investigate if blending may be responsible for the Si II disaster.

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S. Laha, F. Keenan, G. Ferland, et. al.
Tue, 26 Apr 16

Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ

Dark matter scattering on electrons: Accurate calculations of atomic excitations and implications for the DAMA signal [CL]

We revisit the WIMP-type dark matter scattering on electrons that results in atomic ionization, and can manifest itself in a variety of existing direct-detection experiments. Unlike the WIMP-nucleon scattering, where current experiments probe typical interaction strengths much smaller than the Fermi constant, the scattering on electrons requires a much stronger interaction to be detectable, which in turn requires new light force carriers. We account for such new forces explicitly, by introducing a mediator particle with scalar or vector couplings to dark matter and to electrons. We then perform state of the art numerical calculations of atomic ionization relevant to the existing experiments. Our goals are to consistently take into account the atomic physics aspect of the problem (e.g., the relativistic effects, which can be quite significant), and to scan the parameter space: the dark matter mass, the mediator mass, and the effective coupling strength, to see if there is any part of the parameter space that could potentially explain the DAMA modulation signal. While we find that the modulation fraction of all events with energy deposition above 2 keV in NaI can be quite significant, reaching ~50%, the relevant parts of the parameter space are excluded by the XENON10 and XENON100 experiments.

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B. Roberts, V. Dzuba, V. Flambaum, et. al.
Mon, 18 Apr 16

Comments: N/A

H, He-like recombination spectra I: $l$-changing collisions for hydrogen [GA]

Hydrogen and helium emission lines in nebulae form by radiative recombination. This is a simple process which, in principle, can be described to very high precision. Ratios of He I and H I emission lines can be used to measure the He$^+$/H$^+$ abundance ratio to the same precision as the recombination rate coefficients. This paper investigates the controversy over the correct theory to describe dipole $l$-changing collisions ($nl\rightarrow nl’=l\pm 1$) between energy-degenerate states within an $n$-shell. The work of Pengelly & Seaton (1964) has, for half-a-century, been considered the definitive study which “solved” the problem. Recent work by Vrinceanu et al.(2012) recommended the use of rate coefficients from a semi-classical approximation which are nearly an order of magnitude smaller than those of Pengelly & Seaton (1964), with the result that significantly higher densities are needed for the $nl$ populations to come into local thermodynamic equilibrium.
Here, we compare predicted H~I emissivities from the two works and find widespread differences, of up to $\approx 10$%. This far exceeds the 1% precision required to obtain the primordial He/H abundance ratio from observations so as to constrain Big Bang cosmologies. We recommend using the rate coefficients of Pengelly & Seaton (1964) for $l$-changing collisions, to describe the H recombination spectrum, based-on their quantum mechanical representation of the long-range dipole interaction.

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F. Guzman, N. Badnell, R. Williams, et. al.
Fri, 15 Apr 16

Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Plasma-screening effects on the electronic structure of multiply charged Al ions using Debye and ionsphere models [CL]

We analyze atomic structures of plasma embedded aluminum (Al) atom and its ions in the weakly and strongly coupling regimes. The plasma screening effects in these atomic systems are accounted for using the Debye and ion sphere (IS) potentials for the weakly coupling and strongly coupling plasmas, respectively. Within the Debye model, special attention is given to investigate the spherical and non-spherical plasma-screening effects considering in the electron-electron interaction potential. The relativistic coupled-cluster (RCC) method has been employed to describe the relativistic and electronic correlation effects in the above atomic systems. The variation in the ionization potentials (IPs) and excitation energies (EEs) of the plasma embedded Al ions are presented. It is found that the atomic systems exhibit more stability when the exact screening effects are taken into account. It is also showed that in the presence of strongly coupled plasma environment, the highly ionized Al ions show blue and red shifts in the spectral lines of the transitions between the states with same and different principal quantum numbers, respectively. Comparison among the results obtained from the Debye and IS models are also carried out considering similar plasma conditions.

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M. Das, B. Sahoo and S. Pal
Thu, 7 Apr 16

Comments: 6 figures and 3 tables

Atomic clocks and dark-matter signatures [CL]

Recent developments in searches for dark-matter candidates with atomic clocks are reviewed. The intended audience is the atomic clock community.

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A. Derevianko
Thu, 24 Mar 16

Comments: To appear in Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS); 6 pages, 4 figures

Excitation and charge transfer in low-energy hydrogen atom collisions with neutral atoms: Theory, comparisons, and application to Ca [CL]

A theoretical method for the estimation of cross sections and rates for excitation and charge transfer processes in low-energy hydrogen atom collisions with neutral atoms, based on an asymptotic two-electron model of ionic-covalent interactions in the neutral atom-hydrogen atom system, is presented. The calculation of potentials and non-adiabatic radial couplings using the method is demonstrated. The potentials are used together with the multi-channel Landau-Zener model to calculate cross sections and rate coefficients. The main feature of the method is that it employs asymptotically exact atomic wavefunctions, which can be determined from known atomic parameters. The method is applied to Li+H, Na+H, and Mg+H collisions, and the results compare well with existing detailed full-quantum calculations. The method is applied to the astrophysically important problem of Ca+H collisions, and rate coefficients are calculated for temperatures in the range 1000-20000 K.

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P. Barklem
Thu, 24 Mar 16

Comments: Accepted by Phys. Rev. A

Rovibrationally-Resolved Photodissociaton of SH$^+$ [EPA]

Photodissociation cross sections for the SH$^+$ radical are computed from all rovibrational (RV) levels of the ground electronic state X$~^3\Sigma^-$ for wavelengths from threshold to 500~\AA. The five electronic transitions, $2~ ^3\Sigma^- \leftarrow$ X$~^3\Sigma^-$, $3~ ^3\Sigma^- \leftarrow$ X$~^3\Sigma^-$, $A~ ^3\Pi \leftarrow$ X$~^3\Sigma^-$, $2~ ^3\Pi \leftarrow$ X$~^3\Sigma^-$, and $3~ ^3\Pi \leftarrow$ X$~^3\Sigma^-$, are treated with a fully quantum-mechanical two-state model, {i.e. no non-adiabatic coupling between excited states was included in our work.}. The photodissociation calculations incorporate adiabatic potentials and transition dipole moment functions computed in the multireference configuration interaction approach along with the Davidson correction (MRCI+Q), but adjusted to match available experimental molecular data and asymptotic atomic limits. Local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) photodissociation cross sections were computed which assume a Boltzmann distribution of RV levels in the X$~^3\Sigma^-$ molecular state of the SH$^+$ cation. The LTE cross sections are presented for temperatures in the range 1000-10,000~K. Applications of the current photodissociation cross sections to interstellar gas, photon-dominated regions, and stellar atmospheres are briefly discussed.

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E. McMillan, G. Shen, J. McCann, et. al.
Thu, 18 Feb 16

Comments: 21 pages, 13 figures, 2 tables. Accepted in J Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. for the special issue on Atomic and molecular data for astrophysics

Discovery of Rubidium, Cadmium, and Germanium Emission Lines in the Near-Infrared Spectra of Planetary Nebulae [SSA]

We identify [Rb IV] 1.5973 and [Cd IV] 1.7204 micron emission lines in high-resolution (R=40,000) near-infrared spectra of the planetary nebulae (PNe) NGC 7027 and IC 5117, obtained with the IGRINS spectrometer on the 2.7-m telescope at McDonald Observatory. We also identify [Ge VI] 2.1930 $\mu$m in NGC 7027. Alternate identifications for these features are ruled out based on the absence of other multiplet members and/or transitions with the same upper levels. Ge, Rb, and Cd can be enriched in PNe by s-process nucleosynthesis during the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stage of evolution. To determine ionic abundances, we calculate [Rb IV] collision strengths and use approximations for those of [Cd IV] and [Ge VI]. Our identification of [Rb IV] 1.5973 $\mu$m is supported by the agreement between Rb3+/H+ abundances found from this line and the 5759.55 A feature in NGC 7027. Elemental Rb, Cd, and Ge abundances are derived with ionization corrections based on similarities in ionization potential ranges between the detected ions and O and Ne ionization states. Our analysis indicates abundances 2-4 times solar for Rb and Cd in both nebulae. Ge is subsolar in NGC 7027, but its abundance is uncertain due to the large and uncertain ionization correction. The general consistency of the measured relative s-process enrichments with predictions from models appropriate for these PNe (2.0-2.5 M_sun, [Fe/H]= -0.37) demonstrates the potential of using PN compositions to test s-process nucleosynthesis models.

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N. Sterling, H. Dinerstein, K. Kaplan, et. al.
Thu, 11 Feb 16

Comments: 14 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letters

Collision strengths and transition probabilities for Co III forbidden lines [CL]

In this paper we compute the collision strengths and their thermally-averaged Maxwellian values for electron transitions between the fifteen lowest levels of doubly-ionised cobalt, Co^{2+}, which give rise to forbidden emission lines in the visible and infrared region of spectrum. The calculations also include transition probabilities and predicted relative line emissivities. The data are particularly useful for analysing the thermodynamic conditions of supernova ejecta.

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P. Storey and T. Sochi
Wed, 3 Feb 16

Comments: 9 pages, 2 figures, 11 tables. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1509.03164

Plasma code for astrophysical charge exchange emission at X-ray wavelengths [HEAP]

Charge exchange X-ray emission provides unique insights into the interactions between cold and hot astrophysical plasmas. Besides its own profound science, this emission is also technically crucial to all observations in the X-ray band, since charge exchange with the solar wind often contributes a significant foreground component that contaminates the signal of interest. By approximating the cross sections resolved to $n$ and $l$ atomic subshells, and carrying out complete radiative cascade calculation, we create a new spectral code to evaluate the charge exchange emission in the X-ray band. Comparing to collisional thermal emission, charge exchange radiation exhibits enhanced lines from large-$n$ shells to the ground, as well as large forbidden-to-resonance ratios of triplet transitions. Our new model successfully reproduces an observed high-quality spectrum of comet C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), which emits purely by charge exchange between solar wind ions and cometary neutrals. It demonstrates that a proper charge exchange model will allow us to probe remotely the ion properties, including charge state, dynamics, and composition, at the interface between the cold and hot plasmas.

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L. Gu, J. Kaastra and A. Raassen
Mon, 25 Jan 16

Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Solar opacity calculations using the super-transition-array method [SSA]

An opacity model based on the Super-Transition-Array (STA) method for the calculation of monochromatic opacities of local thermodynamic equilibrium plasmas was developed. The model is described and used to calculate spectral opacities for a solar model implementing the recent AGSS09 composition. Calculations are carried throughout the solar radiative zone. The relative contributions of different chemical elements and photon-matter processes to the total Rosseland mean opacity are analyzed in detail. Monochromatic opacities and charge state distributions were compared with the widely used Opacity-Project (OP) code, for several elements near the radiation-convection interface. STA Rosseland opacities for the solar mixture show a very good agreement with OP and the OPAL opacity code, throughout the radiation zone. Finally, an explicit STA calculation of the full AGSS09 photospheric mixture, including all heavy metals was performed. It was shown that due to their extremely low abundance, and despite being very good photon absorbers, the heavy elements do not affect the Rosseland opacity.

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M. Krief, A. Feigel and D. Gazit
Mon, 11 Jan 16

Comments: 15 pages, 28 figures

Multipole Traps as Tools in Environmental Studies [CL]

Trapping of microparticles, nanoparticles and aerosols is an issue of major interest for physics and chemistry. We present a setup intended for microparticle trapping in multipole linear Paul trap geometries, operating under Standard Ambient Temperature and Pressure (SATP) conditions. A 16-electrode linear trap geometry has been designed and tested, with an aim to confine a larger number of particles with respect to quadrupole traps and thus enhance the signal to noise ratio, as well as to study microparticle dynamical stability in electrodynamic fields. Experimental tests and numerical simulations suggest that multipole traps are very suited for high precision mass spectrometry measurements in case of different microparticle species or to identify the presence of certain aerosols and polluting agents in the atmosphere. Particle traps represent versatile tools for environment monitoring or for the study of many-body Coulomb systems and dusty plasmas.

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B. Mihalcea, C. Stan, L. Giurgiu, et. al.
Fri, 18 Dec 15

Comments: 17 pages, 8 figures