Doctoral Dissertations


"This thesis focuses on how classical mechanics can be used to help determine the collision dynamics of simple ion-atom collision systems. It was once thought that all particle collisions must be calculated via quantum mechanics in order to obtain meaningful results. The problem with quantum mechanical calculations is that each state and sub-state of a collision system must be specified prior to the calculation. This requires an enormous amount of storage and computation time. As a result, detailed quantum calculations, i.e. closed-coupling calculations (Lundsgaard et al 1994, 1995, 1996), must truncate the basis set in order to obtain results in a finite amount of time. We will use classical mechanics, statistics and computers to provide qualitative and often quantitative agreement with experiments. In some cases, the use of the classical trajectory Monte Carlo method (CTMC) provides results when quantum mechanical calculations can not. The CTMC method only requires the momentum and position vectors of the particles involved and an expression for the potentials between each interacting particle.

The CTMC method used in this thesis has been applied to simple three-body collision systems involving a projectile, target nucleus and electron. Projectiles of various charges are used in collisions with aligned, highly excited or Rydberg targets. These were used to investigate the collision dynamics over a wide range of projectile speeds and configurations, including circular and elliptical Rydberg targets. Our results show that alignment of the target has a profound effect on the collision dynamics of the system. In many cases, certain target configurations increase the probability of the electron being captured, while others increase the probability of the electron being ionized"--Abstract, page iv.


Olson, Ronald E.

Committee Member(s)

Alexander, Ralph William, Jr.
Peacher, Jerry
Schulz, Michael, 1959-
Biolsi, Louis, Jr.



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Physics


United States. Department of Energy. Office of Fusion Energy


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Spring 2000

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Ionization of aligned Rydberg atoms by ion impact
  • Impact parameter related final n-level splitting observed in aligned ion-Rydberg collisions
  • Final quantum nf state analysis for multiply charged ion-circular Rydberg target collisions
  • State-selective cross section scalings for electron capture collisions


xi 159 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2000 Kevin Ray Cornelius, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 7765

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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