JRM Logo 1998 JR Macdonald Lab
Departmental Newsletter Article

Note that no attempt has been made to maintain the links in older newsletters.
Patrick Richard


The faculty of the Macdonald Laboratory prepared its three-year Renewal Proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE, in the Spring of 1997. The proposal is built on the success of our research program in ion-atom collisions using the highly charged ion beams from the Tandem/Linac, Ion-Ion, and CRYEBIS facilities.

An outside review team consisting of five atomic, molecular and optical scientists and two DOE contract monitors were at KSU in November to examine the atomic physics programs in the Macdonald Lab. The preliminary report from the review panel is that the internal research program is outstanding and that the laboratory effort to maintain an outside user program is also outstanding. It concluded that the laboratory user program could benefit from additional resources.

The panel also noted that the accelerator improvements provided by DOE ARIM funds greatly benefited the laboratory and should be continued in the future.

We received notice from DOE during the first week of January 1998 that our grant has been renewed for the next three-year period with small increases in funding each year. All of us in the Macdonald Lab are excited about these next three years and invite any of our past colleagues and students to drop by and see us whenever possible.

In my group we continue to make new discoveries in the area of electron-ion physics from our experiments in ion-atom collisions. Recently we have demonstrated the excitation of triply-excited states in three-electron ions formed in electron-ion scattering. Triply-excited states is a hot topic in neutral atom excitation. We also made the first observation of super-elastic scattering in electron, highly charged ion scattering. This observation takes advantage of metastable ion beams. This is the result of work with Peter Závodszky, Research Associate, and Gabor Toth, a former student, who is now a Research Associate at Western Michigan, and also in collaboration with John Tanis, Professor of Physics at Western Michigan.

Two hot topics that we presented in our Progress Report are the observation of new recoil-ion electron emission symmetries observed in the ionization of atoms by low velocity projectiles and the observation of new features in the electron emission spectra from high velocity ions traversing a carbon foil. The former observation is the result of the COLTRIMS work performed by Professor Lew Cocke's group and forms the thesis of Mohammad Abdallah.

The latter topic on the electron emission from carbon foils featured very narrow jets of electrons observed in the forward and backward emission directions. The jets are interpreted as the channeling of electrons in the plasma-like wake of the projectile track in the material. It offers the opportunity to measure some properties of ions moving in solids that have not been previously characterized. This work was done by Professor Siegbert Hagmann and formed the thesis of Thorsten Zaepfel. It was a collaborative effort with Professor Horst Schmidt-Boecking from Frankfurt, Germany.

I don't have space here to tell you more about what is going on in the JR Macdonald Laboratory. As it is I have slighted some of my colleagues by not mentioning their exciting work as well, however you can read all about it in our recent Progress Report to DOE. It is a 161 page testament with a very colorful cover. If you would like a copy, please write to me and I will send you one.

Best wishes for a successful and happy 1998.

By P. Richard,
Director, J.R. Macdonald Laboratory
Department of Physics
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-2601


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