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M.E. Foord, R.F. Heeter, D.A. Liedahl, P.T. Springer (Lawrence Livermore Nat'l Lab), D. Cohen (Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA), J.E. Bailey, M.E. Cuneo (Sandia Nat'l Lab)
The absorption and transport of radiation is a key process in determining the degree of ionization and temperature in many astrophysical X-ray sources such as binary systems and AGNs. At the same time, accurate models of such plasmas are increasingly relied upon for interpreting the high-quality X-ray spectra arriving from Chandra and XMM. Ongoing experiments at the Sandia National Laboratory Z-machine facility are designed to investigate photoionization of low density samples driven by a 180 eV thermal radiation source. Thin tamped foils were designed to radiatively heat and blow down to uniform, nearly steady-state conditions. Radiation from the Z-pinch produces radiation fluxes sufficient to ionize iron into the L-shell corresponding to \xi = 50 to 100. Other experiments involved using a pre-filled gas cell to study the photoionization of low density neon. Simulations of the photoionization dynamics for these geometries will be presented. Preliminary analysis of emission and absorption data will be discussed and the spectroscopic models used in the analysis will be described.
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