Scaling Behavior of the Fully Differential Cross Section for Ionization of Hydrogen Atoms by the Impact of Fast Elementary Charged Particles


Ionization of hydrogen atoms by the impact of fast charged particles can be accurately treated theoretically using simple two-center wave functions to describe the scattering system both initially and finally. For the final state, we use a continuum distorted wave (CDW) that contains the product of three Coulombic distortion factors (one for each two-body interaction), hence it is called the 3C wave function. This CDW (3C) wave function is ideal for studying fast collisions since it is asymptotically correct in all asymptotic domains of momentum space for all configurations of the three particles in coordinate space. Coulomb distortion in the entrance channel is provided by an eikonal initial state (EIS), and this CDW-EIS approximation, introduced by Crothers and McCann has proven to be the most accurate perturbative method ever devised within a two-state approximation. The first fully differential cross sections for ion-atom ionization in the CDW-EIS approximation are presented. In addition, by considering projectiles of different mass and charge, it will be shown that although the charge of the projectile is important, the mass of the projectile plays virtually no role in the vast majority of fast ionizing collisions.



Keywords and Phrases

Approximation theory; Binding energy; Boundary conditions; Electron energy levels; Electron irradiation; Electron scattering; Functions; Hamiltonians; Hydrogen; Impact ionization; Matrix algebra; Perturbation techniques; Targets; Vectors; Continuum distorted waves (CDW); Ionizing collisions; Atomic physics

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Article - Journal

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© 2002 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2002