Scaled plane-wave Born cross sections for atoms and molecules

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Integral cross sections for optically allowed electronic-state excitations of atoms and molecules by electron impact, by applying scaled plane-wave Born models, are reviewed. Over 40 years ago, Inokuti presented an influential review of charged-particle scattering, based on the theory pioneered by Bethe forty years earlier, which emphasized the importance of reliable cross-section data from low eV energies to high keV energies that are needed in many areas of radiation science with applications to astronomy, plasmas, and medicine. Yet, with a couple of possible exceptions, most computational methods in electron-atom scattering do not, in general, overlap each other's validity range in the region from threshold up to 300 eV and, in particular, in the intermediate region from 30 to 300 eV. This is even more so for electron-molecule scattering. In fact this entire energy range is of great importance and, to bridge the gap between the two regions of low and high energy, scaled plane-wave Born models were developed to provide reliable, comprehensive, and absolute integral cross sections, first for ionization by Kim and Rudd and then extended to optically allowed electronic-state excitation by Kim. These and other scaling models in a broad, general application to electron scattering from atoms and molecules, their theoretical basis, and their results for cross sections along with comparison to experimental measurements are reviewed. Where possible, these data are also compared to results from other computational approaches.

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Reviews of Modern Physics

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