• Rudolf Kippenhahn
  • Alfred Weigert
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


In §13 we assumed complete ionization of all atoms. This is a good approximation in the very deep interior, where T and P are sufficiently large, but the degree of ionization certainly becomes smaller if one approaches the stellar surface, where T and P are small. In the atmosphere of the sun, for instance, hydrogen and helium atoms are neutral. When a gas is partially ionized the mean molecular weight and thermodynamic properties such as c P depend on the degree of ionization. It is the aim of this section to show how this can be calculated and how it influences the properties of the stellar gas.


Partition Function Statistical Weight Helium Atom Ionize Hydrogen Pure Hydrogen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Kippenhahn
    • 1
  • Alfred Weigert
  1. 1.GöttingenGermany

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