Helium Double Ionization in Collisions with Electrons
The investigation of electron-impact ionization of atoms contributed considerably to our understanding of the correlated fragmentation dynamics of atomic systems. This is mainly due to the early realization of kinematically complete experiments in the late 1960s , in which the momentum vectors of all participating continuum particles, in the initial and final states, were under control. These (e,2e) experiments allowed theoretical models to be tested critically and gave detailed insight into basic atomic-collision processes. Nevertheless, the fundamental three-body Coulomb continuum problem persisted from being solved satisfactory until in the last ten years when a number of very successful theoretical treatments were carried out that not only gave a precise description of the cross sections but also were able to explain the observed cross section pattern in terms of dominating interactions and contributing reaction mechanisms [2–4].
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