The Concept of Collision Strength and Its Applications

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Collision strength, the measure of strength for a binary collision, hasn't been defined clearly. In practice, many physical arguments have been employed for the purpose and taken for granted. A scattering angle has been widely and intensively used as a measure of collision strength in plasma physics for years. The result of this is complication and unnecessary approximation in deriving some of the basic kinetic equations and in calculating some of the basic physical terms. The Boltzmann equation has a five-fold integral collision term that is complicated. Chandrasekhar and Spitzer's approaches to the linear Fokker-Planck coefficients have several approximations. An ... continued below

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Chang, Yongbin May 2004.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 988 times , with 11 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Chang, Yongbin

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Collision strength, the measure of strength for a binary collision, hasn't been defined clearly. In practice, many physical arguments have been employed for the purpose and taken for granted. A scattering angle has been widely and intensively used as a measure of collision strength in plasma physics for years. The result of this is complication and unnecessary approximation in deriving some of the basic kinetic equations and in calculating some of the basic physical terms. The Boltzmann equation has a five-fold integral collision term that is complicated. Chandrasekhar and Spitzer's approaches to the linear Fokker-Planck coefficients have several approximations. An effective variable-change technique has been developed in this dissertation as an alternative to scattering angle as the measure of collision strength. By introducing the square of the reduced impulse or its equivalencies as a collision strength variable, many plasma calculations have been simplified. The five-fold linear Boltzmann collision integral and linearized Boltzmann collision integral are simplified to three-fold integrals. The arbitrary order linear Fokker-Planck coefficients are calculated and expressed in a uniform expression. The new theory provides a simple and exact method for describing the equilibrium plasma collision rate, and a precise calculation of the equilibrium relaxation time. It generalizes bimolecular collision reaction rate theory to a reaction rate theory for plasmas. A simple formula of high precision with wide temperature range has been developed for electron impact ionization rates for carbon atoms and ions. The universality of the concept of collision strength is emphasized. This dissertation will show how Arrhenius' chemical reaction rate theory and Thomson's ionization theory can be unified as one single theory under the concept of collision strength, and how many important physical terms in different disciplines, such as activation energy in chemical reaction theory, ionization energy in Thomson's ionization theory, and the Coulomb logarithm in plasma physics, can be unified into a single one -- the threshold value of collision strength. The collision strength, which is a measure of a transfer of momentum in units of energy, can be used to reconcile the differences between Descartes' opinion and Leibnitz's opinion about the "true'' measure of a force. Like Newton's second law, which provides an instantaneous measure of a force, collision strength, as a cumulative measure of a force, can be regarded as part of a law of force in general.

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  • May 2004

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:12 p.m.

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Chang, Yongbin. The Concept of Collision Strength and Its Applications, dissertation, May 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4530/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .