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Publications (29)87.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Modern spectral synthesis codes need the thermally averaged free-free Gaunt factor defined over a very wide range of parameter space in order to produce an accurate prediction for the spectrum emitted by an ionized plasma. Until now no set of data exists that would meet this need in a fully satisfactory way. We have therefore undertaken to produce a table of very accurate non-relativistic Gaunt factors over a much wider range of parameters than has ever been produced before. We first produced a table of non-averaged Gaunt factors, covering the parameter space log10(epsilon_i) = -20 to +10 and log10(w) = -30 to +25. We then continued to produce a table of thermally averaged Gaunt factors covering the parameter space log10(gamma^2) = -6 to +10 and log10(u) = -16 to +13. Finally we produced a table of the frequency integrated Gaunt factor covering the parameter space log10(gamma^2) = -6 to +10. All the data presented in this paper are available online.
    07/2014;
  • M. Chatzikos, G. J. Ferland, R. J. R. Williams, A. C. Fabian
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    ABSTRACT: We present CLOUDY calculations for the intensity of coronal hyperfine lines in various environments. We model indirect collisional and radiative transitions, and quantify the collisionally excited line emissivity in the density-temperature phase space. As an observational aid, we also express the emissivity in units of that in the 0.4-0.7 keV band. For most hyperfine lines, knowledge of the X-ray surface brightness and the plasma temperature is sufficient for rough estimates. We find that the radiation fields of both Perseus A and Virgo A can enhance the populations of highly ionized species within 1 kpc. They can also enhance line emissivity within the cluster core. This could have implications for the interpretation of spectra around bright active galactic nuclei. We find the intensity of the 57Fe XXIV λ3.068 mm line to be about two orders of magnitude fainter than previously thought, at ~20 μK. Comparably bright lines may be found in the infrared. Finally, we find the intensity of hyperfine lines in the Extended Orion Nebula to be low, due to the shallow sightline. Observations of coronal hyperfine lines will likely be feasible with the next generation of radio and submillimeter telescopes.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2014; 787(2):96. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fe unresolved transition array (UTAs) produce prominent features in the 15-17?A wavelength range in the spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Here we present new calculations of the energies and oscillator strengths of inner- shell lines from Fe XIV, Fe XV, and Fe XVI. These are crucial ions since they are dominant at inflection points in the gas thermal stability curve, and UTA excitation followed by autoionization is an important ionization mechanism for these species. We incorporate these, and data reported in previous papers, into the plasma simulation code Cloudy. This updated physics is subsequently employed to reconsider the thermally stable phases in absorbing media in Active Galactic Nuclei. We show how the absorption profi?le of the Fe XIV UTA depends on density, due to the changing populations of levels within the ground con?figuration.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2013; 767(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss recent improvements in the calculation of the radiative cooling in both collisionally ionized and photoionized plasmas. We are extending the spectral simulation code CLOUDY so that as much as possible of the underlying atomic data are taken from external data bases, some created by others and some developed by the CLOUDY team. This paper focuses on recent changes in the treatment of many stages of ionization of iron, and discusses its extensions to other elements. The H- and He-like ions are treated in the isoelectronic approach described previously. Fe II is a special case treated with a large model atom. Here we focus on Fe III through Fe XXIV, ions which are important contributors to the radiative cooling of hot (T ˜ 105-107 K) plasmas and for X-ray spectroscopy. We use the Chianti atomic data base to greatly expand the number of transitions in the cooling function. Chianti only includes lines that have atomic data computed by sophisticated methods. This limits the line list to lower excitation, longer wavelength, transitions. We had previously included lines from the Opacity Project data base, which tends to include higher energy, shorter wavelength, transitions. These were combined with various forms of the `g-bar' approximation, a highly approximate method of estimating collision rates. For several iron ions the two data bases are almost entirely complementary. We adopt a hybrid approach in which we use Chianti where possible, supplemented by lines from the Opacity Project for shorter wavelength transitions. The total cooling including the lightest 30 elements differs from some previous calculations by significant amounts.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2013; 429(4):3133-3143. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This is a summary of the 2013 release of the plasma simulation code Cloudy. Cloudy models the ionization, chemical, and thermal state of material that may be exposed to an external radiation field or other source of heating, and predicts observables such as emission and absorption spectra. It works in terms of elementary processes, so is not limited to any particular temperature or density regime. This paper summarizes advances made since the last major review in 1998. Much of the recent development has emphasized dusty molecular environments, improvements to the ionization / chemistry solvers, and how atomic and molecular data are used. We present two types of simulations to demonstrate the capability of the code. We consider a molecular cloud irradiated by an X-ray source such as an Active Nucleus and show how treating EUV recombination lines and the full SED affects the observed spectrum. A second example illustrates the very wide range of particle and radiation density that can be considered.
    Revista mexicana de astronomía y astrofísica 02/2013; · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The optical [N I] doublet near 5200 {\AA} is anomalously strong in a variety of emission-line objects. We compute a detailed photoionization model and use it to show that pumping by far-ultraviolet (FUV) stellar radiation previously posited as a general explanation applies to the Orion Nebula (M42) and its companion M43; but, it is unlikely to explain planetary nebulae and supernova remnants. Our models establish that the observed nearly constant equivalent width of [N I] with respect to the dust-scattered stellar continuum depends primarily on three factors: the FUV to visual-band flux ratio of the stellar population; the optical properties of the dust; and the line broadening where the pumping occurs. In contrast, the intensity ratio [N I]/H{\beta} depends primarily on the FUV to extreme-ultraviolet ratio, which varies strongly with the spectral type of the exciting star. This is consistent with the observed difference of a factor of five between M42 and M43, which are excited by an O7 and B0.5 star respectively. We derive a non-thermal broadening of order 5 km/s for the [N I] pumping zone and show that the broadening mechanism must be different from the large-scale turbulent motions that have been suggested to explain the line-widths in this H II region. A mechanism is required that operates at scales of a few astronomical units, which may be driven by thermal instabilities of neutral gas in the range 1000 to 3000 K. In an appendix, we describe how collisional and radiative processes are treated in the detailed model N I atom now included in the Cloudy plasma code.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2012; 757(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Far ultraviolet emission has been detected from a knot of Halpha emission in the Horseshoe filament, far out in the NGC 1275 nebula. The flux detected relative to the brightness of the Halpha line in the same spatial region is very close to that expected from Hydrogen two-photon continuum emission in the particle heating model of Ferland et al. (2009) if reddening internal to the filaments is taken into account. We find no need to invoke other sources of far ultraviolet emission such as hot stars or emission lines from CIV in intermediate temperature gas to explain these data.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2012; 425(2). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using ab initio potential curves and dipole transition moments, cross-section calculations were performed for the direct continuum photodissociation of H2 through the B 1Σ+u ← X 1Σ+g (Lyman) and C 1Πu ← X 1Σ+g (Werner) transitions. Partial cross-sections were obtained for wavelengths from 100 Å to the dissociation threshold between the upper electronic state and each of the 301 bound rovibrational levels v''J'' within the ground electronic state. The resulting cross-sections are incorporated into three representative classes of interstellar gas models: diffuse clouds, photon-dominated regions, and X-ray-dominated regions (XDRs). The models, which used the CLOUDY plasma/molecular spectra simulation code, demonstrate that direct photodissociation is comparable to fluorescent dissociation (or spontaneous radiative dissociation, the Solomon process) as an H2 destruction mechanism in intense far-ultraviolet or X-ray-irradiated gas. In particular, changes in H2 rotational column densities are found to be as large as 20% in the XDR model with the inclusion of direct photodissociation. The photodestruction rate from some high-lying rovibrational levels can be enhanced by pumping from H Lyβ due to a wavelength coincidence with cross-section resonances resulting from quasi-bound levels of the upper electronic states. Given the relatively large size of the photodissociation data set, a strategy is described to create truncated, but reliable, cross-section data consistent with the wavelength resolving power of typical observations.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2012; 746(1):78. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The brightest galaxy in the nearby Perseus cluster, NGC1275, is surrounded by a network of filaments. These were first observed through their Halpha emission but are now known to have a large molecular component with a total mass approaching 10^11Msun of gas. The filaments are embedded in hot intracluster gas and stretch over 80 kpc. They have an unusual low excitation spectrum which is well modelled by collisional heating and ionization by secondary electrons. Here we note that the surface radiative flux from the outer filaments is close to the energy flux impacting on them from particles in the hot gas. We propose that the secondary electrons within the cold filaments, which excite the observed submillimetre through UV emission, are due to the hot surrounding gas efficiently penetrating the cold gas through reconnection diffusion. Some of the soft X-ray emission seen from the filaments is then due to charge exchange, although this is insufficient to account for all the observed X-ray flux. The filaments are complex with multiphase gas. Interpenetration of hot and cold gas leads to the filaments growing in mass, at a rate of up to 100Msunpyr. The lack of soft X-ray cooling emission in cool core clusters is then due to the non-radiative cooling of hot gas on mixing with cold gas around and within the central galaxy.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2011; 417. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Supersonic flows through heterogeneous environments are common in astrophysics as evidenced by high resolution Hubble Space Telescope images of a variety of astrophysical objects, including supernova remnants and stellar jets. In many instances, the imaged flows exhibit a complex morphology consisting of multiple clumps, bow shocks, and filamentary structure extending over a range of spatial scales. To gain a better understanding of the dynamics occurring in such multi-clump flows, scaled laboratory experiments are being carried out at the Omega Laser Facility. In these experiments, a laser pulse is used to heat a halfraum to indirectly drive a near planar shock through a target that typically consists of many small dense spheres embedded in lower density foam. The evolution of the target is then imaged using x-ray radiography. Targets have been designed to span the parameter space of clump number and clump size distribution, as well as investigate the quantitative differences in shock propagation through a clumpy target with that of a uniform target of the same average density. An overview of the experiments and comparison with simulations will be presented.
    11/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, high resolution images of a number of Herbig-Haro objects using the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed complex, chaotic, evolving morphologies of bow shocks, knots, and filamentary structure. Such morphologies are likely a consequence of internal and terminal working surfaces moving into a medium that is highly inhomogeneous. To investigate how inhomogeneities play a role in shaping the morphology of such objects, laboratory experiments have been proposed to examine bow shock evolution as it propagates through a clumpy environment and subsequent development of small scale structure after shock passage. The experiments will be carried out at the Omega Laser Facility utilizing an existing platform which launches a near planar shock into an RF (C15H12O4) cylinder. Two types of downstream targets will be embedded in the RF cylinder: a clumpy target consisting of a 1mm-diameter RF foam sphere containing ˜ 47 randomly distributed 127-mum diameter ruby microspheres, and a 1 mm-diameter sphere target of ``uniformly'' mixed RF foam with sapphire nanopowder. Calculations pertaining to the experimental configuration will be presented and compared to experimental data, if available.
    11/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Large-scale directional outflows of supersonic plasma are driven by a wide variety of objects in the universe such as young stars, compact binaries, and supernovae. Typical models of the outflows assume simplistic geometries; however, images of most outflows show a much more complex structure that consists of multiple clumps and shocks with a variety of sizes. To bridge the gap between the complex system in space and the simplified models, controlled scaled experiments were performed to elucidate the physics of a shock progressing through a clumpy medium. This talk will present experiments on the Omega Laser in which a shock impacts density discontinuities in order to understand the perturbed shock structure as well as the evolution of the discontinuity in a localized area of a clumpy medium. We have obtained high-resolution radiographs that detail the temporal evolution of the shock and density discontinuity.
    11/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Collimated supersonic flows in laboratory experiments behave in a similar manner to astrophysical jets provided that radiation, viscosity, and thermal conductivity are unimportant in the laboratory jets, and that the experimental and astrophysical jets share similar dimensionless parameters such as the Mach number and the ratio of the density between the jet and the ambient medium. Laboratory jets can be studied for a variety of initial conditions, arbitrary viewing angles, and different times, attributes especially helpful for interpreting astronomical images where the viewing angle and initial conditions are fixed and the time domain is limited. Experiments are also a powerful way to test numerical fluid codes in a parameter range where the codes must perform well. In this paper we combine images from a series of laboratory experiments of deflected supersonic jets with numerical simulations and new spectral observations of an astrophysical example, the young stellar jet HH 110. The experiments provide key insights into how deflected jets evolve in 3-D, particularly within working surfaces where multiple subsonic shells and filaments form, and along the interface where shocked jet material penetrates into and destroys the obstacle along its path. The experiments also underscore the importance of the viewing angle in determining what an observer will see. The simulations match the experiments so well that we can use the simulated velocity maps to compare the dynamics in the experiment with those implied by the astronomical spectra. The experiments support a model where the observed shock structures in HH 110 form as a result of a pulsed driving source rather than from weak shocks that may arise in the supersonic shear layer between the Mach disk and bow shock of the jet's working surface. Comment: Full resolution figures available at http://sparky.rice.edu/~hartigan/pub.html To appear in ApJ
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2009; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    R. J. R. Williams, W. J. Henney
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    ABSTRACT: We compare the accuracy of various methods for determining the transfer of the diffuse Lyman continuum in HII regions by comparing them with a high-resolution discrete-ordinate integration. We use these results to suggest how, in multidimensional dynamical simulations, the diffuse field may be treated with acceptable accuracy without requiring detailed transport solutions. The angular distribution of the diffuse field derived from the numerical integration provides insight into the likely effects of the diffuse field for various material distributions.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 01/2009; 400:263-272. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first results from high-energy-density laboratory astrophysics experiments that explore the interaction of supersonic jets/outflows with an ambient medium. Our experiments were conducted on the Omega laser facility, a large Inertial Confinement Fusion facility. In our experiments, a laser pulse drives a supersonic jet into foam. High-resolution X-ray radiography reveals the resulting highly structured bow shock. These are the first laboratory astrophysics experiments to capture the behavior of both the jet and the bow shock. We discuss the astrophysical relevance of the flow processes that we observe in the experiments and in the accompanying numerical models. Scaling arguments suggest that our experiments are most directly relevant to active galactic nucleus jets and planetary nebula outflows, while future work may allow our experiments to extend into regimes relevant to radiative outflows from young stellar objects.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2008; 634(1):L77. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] Photoionization, whether by starlight or other sources, has difficulty in accounting for the observed spectra of the optical filaments that often surround central galaxies in large clusters. Our first paper examined whether heating by energetic particles or dissipative MHD wave can account for the observations. Here we include atomic and low-ionization regions. The model of the hydrogen atom, along with all elements of the H-like iso-electronic sequence, is now fully nl-resolved. We show how the predicted HI spectrum differs from the pure recombination case. The second update is to the rates for H^0 - H2 inelastic collisions. We now use the values computed by Wrathmall et al. The rates are often much larger. We calculate the chemistry, ionization, temperature, gas pressure, and emission-line spectrum for a wide range of gas densities and collisional heating rates. We assume that the filaments are magnetically confined and free to move along field lines so that the gas pressure is equal to that of the surrounding hot gas. A mix of clouds, some being dense and cold and others hot and tenuous, can exist. The observed spectrum will be the integrated emission from clouds with different densities and temperatures but the same pressure. We assume that the gas filling factor is given by a power law in density. The power-law index is set by matching the observed intensities of IR H2 lines relative to optical HI lines. We conclude that the filaments are heated by ionizing particles, either conducted in from surrounding regions or produced in situ by processes related to MHD waves. Comment: 28 pages, 21 figures, accepted to MNRAS
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2008; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The optical filaments found in many cooling flows in galaxy clusters consist of low density ($\sim 10^3 \pcc$) cool ($\sim 10^3$ K) gas surrounded by significant amounts of cosmic-ray and magnetic-field energy. Their spectra show anomalously strong low-ionization and molecular emission lines when compared with galactic molecular clouds exposed to ionizing radiation such as the Orion complex. Previous studies have shown that the spectra cannot be produced by O-star photoionization. Here we calculate the physical conditions in dusty gas that is well shielded from external sources of ionizing photons and is energized either by cosmic rays or dissipative MHD waves. Strong molecular hydrogen lines, with relative intensities similar to those observed, are produced. Selection effects introduced by the microphysics produce a correlation between the \htwo line upper level energy and the population temperature. These selection effects allow a purely collisional gas to produce \htwo emission that masquerades as starlight-pumped \htwo but with intensities that are far stronger. This physics may find application to any environment where a broad range of gas densities or heating rates occur. Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, accepted to MNRAS Letters
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2008; · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • P. A. M. van Hoof, N. P. Abel, R. J. R. Williams, R. Porter
    EAS Publications Series 01/2008; 31:213-214.
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    ABSTRACT: Infrared and radio observations reveal large reservoirs of molecular gas in optical filaments seen in cooling flows in clusters of galaxies. Recent Spitzer observations show that molecular hydrogen emission occurs over a broad range of temperatures, ranging from roughly 300 K to 2000 K. Central questions involve the history of the filaments, their total mass, and the energy sources responsible for the molecular hydrogen and low-ionization emission. Here we present numerical simulations of the effects of cosmic rays or thermalized heating upon otherwise well shielded molecular gas. We show diagnostic excitation and emission diagrams and discuss implications for the nature of the emission.
    12/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: The hydrogen ionization and dissociation front around an ultraviolet radiation source should merge when the ratio of ionizing photon flux to gas density is sufficiently low and the spectrum is sufficiently hard. This regime is particularly relevant to the molecular knots that are commonly found in evolved planetary nebulae, such as the Helix Nebula, where traditional models of photodissociation regions have proved unable to explain the high observed luminosity in H_2 lines. In this paper we present results for the structure and steady-state dynamics of such advection-dominated merged fronts, calculated using the Cloudy plasma/molecular physics code. We find that the principal destruction processes for H_2 are photoionization by extreme ultraviolet radiation and charge exchange reactions with protons, both of which form H_2^+, which rapidly combines with free electrons to undergo dissociative recombination. Advection moves the dissociation front to lower column densities than in the static case, which vastly increases the heating in the partially molecular gas due to photoionization of He^0, H_2, and H^0. This causes a significant fraction of the incident bolometric flux to be re-radiated as thermally excited infrared H_2 lines, with the lower excitation pure rotational lines arising in 1000 K gas and higher excitation H_2 lines arising in 2000 K gas, as is required to explain the H_2 spectrum of the Helix cometary knots. Comment: 4 pages, accepted by ApJL, scheduled December 20 issue
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2007; · 6.73 Impact Factor