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Master equation theory applied to the redistribution of polarized radiation in the weak radiation field limit: V - The two-term atom

Abstract : Context. In previous papers of this series, we presented a formalism able to account for both statistical equilibrium of a multilevel atom and coherent and incoherent scatterings (partial redistribution). Aims. This paper provides theoretical expressions of the redistribution function for the two-term atom. This redistribution function includes both coherent (R II) and incoherent (R III) scattering contributions with their branching ratios. Methods. The expressions were derived by applying the formalism outlined above. The statistical equilibrium equation for the atomic density matrix is first formally solved in the case of the two-term atom with unpolarized and infinitely sharp lower levels. Then the redistribution function is derived by substituting this solution for the expression of the emissivity. Results. Expressions are provided for both magnetic and non-magnetic cases. Atomic fine structure is taken into account. Expressions are also separately provided under zero and non-zero hyperfine structure. Conclusions. Redistribution functions are widely used in radiative transfer codes. In our formulation, collisional transitions between Zeeman sublevels within an atomic level (depolarizing collisions effect) are taken into account when possible (i.e., in the non-magnetic case). However, the need for a formal solution of the statistical equilibrium as a preliminary step prevents us from taking into account collisional transfers between the levels of the upper term. Accounting for these collisional transfers could be done via a numerical solution of the statistical equilibrium equation system.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 11:49:33 AM
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Véronique Bommier. Master equation theory applied to the redistribution of polarized radiation in the weak radiation field limit: V - The two-term atom. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2017, 607, pp.A50. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201630169⟩. ⟨obspm-02192856⟩

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