For nearly 100 years, there has been a strong synergy between astronomical
observations and laboratory experiments conducted on the Earth. When
astronomers measure light from a distant object, the rates that atoms and
molecules emit light tells us how many atoms and molecules the object contains.
Sometimes (as in the hydrogen atom), we can calculate the rates directly.
Usually, though, we need to produce conditions in an Earth-bound lab that
mimic conditions beyond the Earth. Measuring the emission rates in the lab
allows us to deduce the appropriate rates in space and to learn about the
physical conditions in distant objects.
SSP scientists continue the tradition of deriving the properties of
astrophysically interesting atoms, ions, and molecules. In the
Ion Beam Lab, scientists measure
emission rates and reaction rates for collisions among ions in the
Sun and other plasmas. In the Electron-Beam
Ion Trap (EBIT) Lab, scientists are studying astrophysically
interesting ions in new ways.
Astrophysical Plasma Emission Database (APED)
Electron-Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) Spectroscopy
Ion Beam Lab
John L. Kohl,