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Title: The Wootton center for astrophysical plasma properties: First results for helium
Abstract The Wootton Center for Astrophysical Plasma Properties (WCAPP) is a new center focusing on the spectroscopic properties of stars and accretion disks using “at-parameter” experiments. Currently, these experiments use the X-ray output of the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories — the largest X-ray source in the world — to heat plasmas to the same conditions (temperature, density, and radiation environment) as those observed in astronomical objects. The experiments include measuring (1) density-dependent opacities of iron-peak elements at solar interior conditions, (2) spectral lines of low-Z elements at white dwarf photospheric conditions, (3) atomic population kinetics of neon in a radiation-dominated environment, and (4) resonant Auger destruction (RAD) of silicon at conditions found in accretion disks around supermassive black holes. In particular, we report on recent results of our experiments involving helium at white dwarf photospheric conditions. We present results showing disagreement between inferred electron densities using the Hβ line and the He I 5876 Å line, most likely indicating incompleteness in our modeling of this helium line.
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
231 to 236
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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