Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Physics

Committee Member

Dr. Endre Takacs, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Marco Ajello

Committee Member

Dr. Chad Sosolik

Abstract

Driven by the recent detection of an unidentified emission line previously reported at 3.55-3.57 keV in a stacked spectrum of galaxy clusters, in this work we investigated the resonant dielectronic recombination (DR) process in Li-like Ar as a possible source of, or contributor to, the emission line. The Li-like transition 1s22l-1s2l3l' was suggested to produce a 3.62 keV photon [1] near the unidentified line at 3.57 keV and was the primary focus of our study. The Electron Beam Ion Trap at NIST was used to produce and trap the highly-charged ions of argon. The energy of the quasi-monoenergetic electron beam was incremented in steps of 15 eV to scan over all of the Li-like Ar DR resonances. A Johann-type crystal spectrometer and a solid-state germanium detector were used to take x-ray measurements perpendicular to the electron beam. Our broadband results allowed us to identify the processes that produced specific spectral features, while our high-resolution spectra allowed the experimental separation of features that are less than 2 eV apart. We have used the collisional radiative model NOMAD [2] aided by atomic data calculations by FAC [3] to interpret our observations and account for corrections. Experimental results were compared to the atomic database AtomDB, used to fit the galaxy cluster spectra. We found a number of measured features due to DR in lower charge state Ar ions not included in the database, close in energy to the identified line at 3.57 keV, and suggest their inclusion for improved interpretation and diagnosis of other astrophysical spectra.

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