Electron Atom Scattering Theory

  • P. G. Burke
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 134)


The general theory of low energy scattering of electrons by atoms and ions is presented. First, general expressions for the scattering amplitudes and cross sections are obtained both when relativistic effects can be neglected and when, as in the case of scattering by heavy atoms, they must be included. Expansions of the total collision wave function is discussed in terms of independent electron coordinates and when hyperspherical coordinates are used and integrodifferential or differential equations are derived describing the motion of the scattered electron. A survey of the theory of electron impact ionization is presented with emphasis on excitation-autoionization and the threshold behaviour of the cross section. Then the role of resonances with a brief discussion of multichannel quantum defect theory is given. The lectures conclude with a summary of theories which enable electron impact processes at intermediate energies to be described. The lectures are illustrated throughout with examples of the comparison between theoretical prediction and experiment.

The following books are recommended as general references to atomic and molecular collision theory: Mott and Massey (1965), Smith (1971), Peterkop (1977), Nesbet (1980) and Bransden (1983). In addition the following review articles can be consulted with advantage: Bransden and McDowell (1977, 1978), Burke and Williams (1977), Byron and Joachain (1977), Burke and Eissner (1983), Seaton (1975, 1983), Henry (1981), Fano (1983) and Walters (1985).


Scattered Electron Electron Impact Ionization Ionization Cross Section Born Approximation Intermediate Energy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. Burke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsThe Queen’s University of BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland

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