“Talking” Electrons: Does It Happen In Collisions Of Ions With Atoms?

John Tanis PhD, Physics Department, Western Michigan University
Friday, Nov 3 at 3 pm

Can electrons “talk” with one another when an ion collides with a target atom? In general, the answer is yes, but it has been difficult to do experiments that isolate the interaction, or “talking”, between electrons. We are conducting an experiment involving the collision of a fully-stripped ion with a neutral gas target atom. In the collision we look for the transfer of two electrons from the target to the projectile accompanied by the simultaneous emission of a single photon. The electrons must “talk” with one another for this to occur. The process can be treated as the inverse of double photoionization by a single photon, in which the electrons must also “talk” with each other in a similar way. Our experiment and results to date will be discussed.

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