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Session 45 - Interstellar Medium I.
Display session, Tuesday, January 16
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[45.15] The Viability of a Two-photon Absorption Mechanism by H2 or H2+ as an Explanation for the Diffuse Interstellar Absorption Bands

D. Bacon (Caltech), J. Babb (SAO), A. Dalgarno (HCO)

Recent studies have suggested that a two-photon Lyman alpha driven absorption mechanism in H_2 or H_2^+ is responsible for the diffuse interstellar absorption bands. This hypothesis differs radically from previous theories on the origin of the diffuse interstellar bands. In order to test the validity of the H_2^+ hypothesis, a study was undertaken to calculate the exact properties of the H_2^+ spectrum relevant to the proposed two-photon mechanism. Using the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, wave lengths and cross sections for the two-photon mechanism were calculated and compared to the diffuse interstellar absorption spectrum. The results of this study indicate that the H_2^+ spectrum does not match the observed diffuse interstellar band spectrum.

Program listing for Tuesday