Uncertainties in Dielectronic Recombination Rate Coefficients: Effects on Solar and Stellar Upper Atmosphere Abundance Determinations

Savin, Daniel Wolf; Laming, J. M.

We have investigated how the relative elemental abundances inferred from the solar upper atmosphere are affected by uncertainties in the dielectronic recombination (DR) rate coefficients used to analyze the spectra. We find that the inferred relative abundances can be up to a factor of ≈5 smaller or ≈1.6 larger than those inferred using the currently recommended DR rate coefficients. We have also found a plausible set of variations to the DR rate coefficients that improve the inferred (and expected) isothermal nature of solar coronal observations at heights of ≳50'' off the solar limb. Our results can be used to help prioritize the enormous amount of DR data needed for modeling solar and stellar upper atmospheres. Based on the work here, our list of needed rate coefficients for DR onto specific isoelectronic sequences reads, in decreasing order of importance, as follows: O-like, C-like, Be-like, N-like, B-like, F-like, Li-like, He-like, and Ne-like. It is our hope that this work will help to motivate and prioritize future experimental and theoretical studies of DR.


Also Published In

The Astrophysical Journal

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Academic Units
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published Here
March 25, 2013