Topics in quantum physics with origins in astronomy: Two examples
(a) Photoabsorption spectrum from strontium in the ground state with m = 1 polarization in a 4.7 T magnetic field, showing the absorption intensity as a function of energy above the ground state.38 The dominant absorption from the ground state s electron is to p states, but a regular sequence of such Rydberg lines starts splitting for values of n larger than 25 into absorption to other odd ℓ in the same degenerate manifold and later into an even more complicated mixing of neighboring n values. The dashed line marks the ionization threshold. (b) Schematic of (a) to emphasize the three characteristic regions of an electron in combined Coulomb and magnetic fields, with the Coulomb-Rydberg region at low energy and magnetic-Landau region at high energies and strong mixing region around zero energy. (c) Equipotentials of Eq. (3) in cylindrical coordinates. Dashed lines show different classical trajectories for near zero energy electrons. From Ref. 40.
Spectrum of 1 S states of two-electron atoms He and H−. Energies are in eV above the ground state. Attached to each singly excited state of He+ and H, numbered N = 1,2,…, are a series of discrete states of the second electron below and continuum states above (not shown) the energy of that state. Only for H (N = 1), there is a single bound state of the negative ion. Other symmetries of 1,3 L have similar energy levels except for the absence of any bound level below H(N = 1). From Ref. 1.
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