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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2002 Sep 15;360(1798):1923-33.

X-ray spectroscopy of astrophysical plasmas.

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  • 1Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 W. 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA.


We provide a qualitative review of key X-ray spectral diagnostics of astrophysical plasmas. We begin with a brief discussion of the two major types of equilibria, collisional ionization and photoionization, and then consider the behaviour of hydrogen-like, helium-like, iron L-shell and iron K-shell transitions for these separate cases. Where possible, we discuss explicit examples using high-resolution spectra acquired by the grating instruments on the Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories.

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