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Radiative double electron capture (RDEC) is a two-step quantum process where two electrons are captured from the target gas to the projectile ion beam with a simultaneous emission of a single photon. The projectile ion beam was obtained from the tandem Van de Graaff accelerator at Western Michigan University. The projectile beam used is fully and partially ionized fluorine 9+, and 8+ in collision with highly pure nitrogen gas. The objective of the research is to observe RDEC from x ray detection using time to amplitude converters (TACs) that look for coincidences between x rays and particles. The signal from the time to amplitude converters is sent through an analog to digital converter, which gives the computer a number. The number is stored into a bin associated with its energy and overtime TAC spectra are created. By setting gates on the x-ray spectra and asking the computer for the associating TACs, counts contributed from the process of RDEC can be identified. RDEC can be considered the time reverse process of double photoionization, where a single photon scatters of an atom and induces the atom to eject two electrons, an atomic process that is a more specific case of the well-known atomic process known as the Photo Electric Effect as explained by Albert Einstein. RDEC is used as the tool to study correlations between electrons and gain important data necessary for describing the two-electron wave function in quantum mechanics. The correlations between the electrons is the heart of the study of RDEC. This correlation can be thought of as a communication between the electrons through the electromagnetic Coulomb force, however, the correlation could have a much deeper physical connection not understood to physics as well. RDEC can offer information for applications in other fields such as quantum theory, quantum electrodynamics, astrophysics, and plasma physics.
Taylor, Charles, "Radiative double electron capture by ions in collisions with gas targets" (2019). Honors Theses. 3177.
Honors Thesis-Open Access