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Astrophysics Research and Analysis

High Energy Laboratory Astrophysics using an X-Ray Microcalorimeter with an Electron Beam Ion Trap

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

High Energy Laboratory Astrophysics using an X-Ray Microcalorimeter with an Electron Beam Ion Trap
"Since the summer of 2000 we have successfully deployed a high resolution x-ray microcalorimeter spectrometer, based on the spaceflight XRS instrument, at the Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Over the last decade, this highly successful partnership has made fundamental measurements in laboratory astrophysics including the measurements of the absolute cross sections of all the Fe L shell transitions from Fe XVII to Fe XXIV, line ratios in Fe and Ni L shell transitions, measurements of Fe K shell emission over a wide range of electron energies, and direct measurements of charge exchange emission from highly ionized Fe, O, N, and most recently L shell S, using a variety of donor gases. This work has resulted in the publication of over 30 peer-reviewed articles with many more either submitted or in preparation. The newest addition to the facility, the ECS microcalorimeter spectrometer, developed under this program, has performed flawlessly as a facility-class instrument since 2007. We propose here to continue our highly successful partnership and deploy new technology to resolve lines in the important 1/4 keV band that encompasses the M-shell iron emission and the L shell emission, including charge exchange, of many of the lower-Z elements, such as Si, S, Mg, Ne, Ca, and Ar. We thus propose completing a new spectrometer that will bring substantially improved performance to the laboratory astrophysics program at EBIT and will enable fundamentally new measurements. Thus, in addition to maintaining the current spectrometers, which will begin this work, a significant component of this proposal is the completion of a new spectrometer leveraged off of the substantial progress in high-resolution x-ray detectors developed for the International X-ray Observatory mission. The spectrometer will be composed of a detector system with unparalleled spectral resolution: 2 eV resolution across the 0.05-10 keV band. This will allow More »

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