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Title: Electron-impact Excitation of Pt i–iii: The Importance of Metastables and Collision Processes in Neutron Star Merger and Laboratory Plasmas

The detection of a gravitational-wave signal and subsequent electromagnetic transient from a neutron star merger in 2017 is consistent with expectations of neutron star mergers as anr-process element production site. Within the first few days post-merger, the kilonova spectra are consistent with a blackbody illuminating a mix of heavy,r-process elements. With increasing time, the kilonova transitions to the non-LTE regime where the level populations and ionization balance are determined by both collisional and photoprocesses. Detailed cross section data for electron-impact processes involving the relevant species are often not available. In such circumstances, it is reasonable to use approximate methods as baseline data for use in spectral modeling, and it is useful to evaluate the accuracy of such methods against more sophisticated collision calculations when possible. We describe new calculations of the electron-impact excitation cross sections of PtiiIiusing the DARCR-matrix codes. Using collisional-radiative models, we show that, at plasma conditions expected in kilonovae, the expressions of van Regemorter and Axelrod are insufficient for producing electron-impact excitation data for complex, heavy species such as the low charge states of Pt. Through comparisons with data generated with the relativistic distorted wave approach, as implemented in the Flexible Atomic Code, we show the distorted wave method produces cross section data that, when incorporated into spectral models, predicts strong spectral feature distributions similar in intensity to those from models built on data computed with theR-matrix approach for the considered ions and plasma conditions.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Medium: X Size: Article No. 22
["Article No. 22"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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