Recombination processes in ionised plasmas
The observational analysis of astrophysical plasmas relies on accurate calculations of the atomic processes involved. The recombination spectra of singly ionised oxygen (O il) and carbon (C il) present excellent tools for investigating regions such as planetary nebulae and H II regions. In this thesis, detailed treatments of the recombination processes of both O II and C II are presented. Using the R-matrix solution to the close coupling equations, I present the results of accurate photoionisation calculations. Bound state energy levels are determined and oscillator strengths calculated for both species. Recombination coefficients were evalu ated for low n and 1, for C II in LS-coupling, and 0 II in intermediate coupling, taking particular care to treat resonances effectively. Sample photoionisation cross-sections are presented for both species, and compared to previous work. A complete radiative-cascade model is treated for both species, in order to determine line emissivities under nebular conditions at a wide range of temperatures and densities. Collisional effects are treated for C II, along with, for the first time, the effects of high temperature dielectronic recombination, allowing the modelling of regions of much higher electron temperature than previous work. The O II calculations were performed under intermediate coupling for the first time, allowing the effects of non-statistical popula tions of the parent ion fine-structure levels and dielectronic recombination onto bound states within this fine-structure to be taken into account in line emissivities. Detailed comparison with previous theoretical work was made for both species. The application of the C II and 0 n recombination spectra to determining tempera ture and densities from the observed spectra of a number of ionised nebulae is considered. The potential for using the new recombination spectra as diagnostic tools to solve some of the key problems in the study of ionised nebulae is demonstrated.