The Challenge of High Resolution X-Ray through IR Spectroscopy of Photoionized Plasmas

University of Kentucky, Lexington, 15-17 November 2000

New on this web site:

The Table of Contents for the Book.

Pictures from the meeting:
Taken by Bob Rubin 

New! The ASP book has appeared.  It is volume 247 of the ASP Conference Series.  An addendum to the benchmark models discussion is given here.  

High resolution spectroscopy of photoionized plasmas at X-ray energies with Chandra and XMM/Newton will soon be routine. Similarly, within a few years SOFIA and SIRTF will provide high resolution spectra in the mid and far infrared regions.  HST and FUSE make the vacuum ultraviolet routinely accessible.  Ground-based optical telescopes can now obtain spectra of faint galaxies at the very edge of the Universe.   Understanding the messages contained in these spectra will make unprecedented demands on our understanding of atomic and molecular processes and our ability to simulate conditions in these non-equilibrium plasmas.  

This workshop is designed to bring together developers of plasma emission codes, experts in atomic physics and radiation transport, and observers who are working to unravel the message in the spectrum.  A broad range of physical processes determine the observed spectrum, and a complete simulation of the plasma is an intricate computational problem.  The physical state of the gas is often determined by processes at the frontiers of theoretical and experimental atomic and molecular physics.  Both the simulations and the atomic physics are driven by the need to understand new observations. 

The main goals are to identify current uncertainties, future needs, and promote research in quantitative spectroscopy.  The main questions are:

bulletAtomic Physics:  How is our understanding of fundamental issues in astrophysics limited by existing uncertainties in our understanding of atomic physics?  How do uncertainties affect the ability to interpret the spectrum?  What are the greatest needs for future work?  What is the current status of the atomic/molecular data base?
bulletRadiative Transfer:  Many plasmas are optically thick.  Most plasma codes either neglect radiation transport (RT) or use escape probabilities.  As machines grow ever faster it will soon be possible to do exact RT.  How do the current treatments compromise the simulation, and what exact RT methods should be employed? Time dependence and hydrodynamics are all important in sources and must be considered.
bulletPlasma emission codes:  What is the current status of plasma emission codes?  What are the sources of disagreement?  We will establish a new set of benchmarks in the spirit of the 1994 Lexington Meeting.

Observations:  What spectroscopic observations will be possible with current and upcoming instrumentation?  What is needed from the atomic physics and plasma simulation communities to understand the messages in these spectra?

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has agreed to publish a book as part of their Conference Series.  The book will consist of a series of invited reviews that will cover the many research areas that determine conditions in an astrophysical plasma, along with summaries of the poster presentations.  The Meeting Proceedings page gives further details.

Organizing committee:  Gary Ferland (chair), Mark Bottorff, Fred Hamann, Tim Kallman, Duane Liedahl, Hagai Netzer, Daniel Savin

The workshop is supported by the NASA AISRP program and by the University of Kentucky.  

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