We present calculations of ion-atom collisions using a partial-wave expansion of the projectile wavefunction. Most calculations of ion-atom collisions have typically used classical or plane-wave approximations for the projectile wavefunction, since partial-wave expansions are expected to require prohibitively large numbers of terms to converge scattering quantities. Here we show that such calculations are possible using modern high-performance computing. We demonstrate the utility of our method by examining elastic scattering of protons by hydrogen and helium atoms, problems familiar to undergraduate students of atomic scattering. Application to ionization of helium using partial-wave expansions of the projectile wavefunction, which has long been desirable in heavy-ion collision physics, is thus quite feasible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)