Why Study Electron-Atom Collisions?
Why study electron-atom collision process? Because electron-atom collisions occur so often, in so many important processes, in so
many different fields of study. Consider the following factoids:
An electron, with a fixed kinetic energy, collides with an atom (or molecule) and transfers some energy to it (via excitation, ionization). We measure the cross section (the probability) that the atom is excited to a particular state.
Thus we generate the basic science values needed to understand plasmas in numerous applied fields of study.
1. Jearl Walker, Scientific American (July, 1982) p. 146.
2. John F. Waymouth, "Collision Phenomena in Electrical Discharge Lamps" in Applied Atomic Collision Physics 5 Academic Press: New York (1982) p.331.
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|last updated: Jan-12-1998|