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Astrophysical Lasers$
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Vladilen Letokhov and Sveneric Johansson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548279.001.0001

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Astrophysical rarefied gas/plasma

Astrophysical rarefied gas/plasma

Chapter:
(p.62) 5 Astrophysical rarefied gas/plasma
Source:
Astrophysical Lasers
Author(s):

Vladilen Letokhov

Sveneric Johansson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548279.003.0005

The ranges of gas (plasma) density, energy density, and temperature in astrophysical media are rather wide. For astrophysical lasers the most interesting media are those where significant deviations from local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) occur. Then, it is necessary that the collisions of particles do not dominate over radiative transitions, i.e., collisions should play a limited part in establishing steady state, which allows non-LTE in the plasma. This chapter focuses on gaseous media with low densities nearby a hot blue star (blobs, shells, etc.). Regarding density they take up an intermediate position between planetary nebulae and stellar atmospheres, and it is in these gas condensations that laser effects and even nonlinear optical effects, the subject of this book, may take place.

Keywords:   hot star, planetary nebulae, spectral emissions, gas condensation, symbiotic stars, gas density

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