Calculation of cross selection for elastic scattering of electrons by a magnesium atom at intermediate energies
Kariuki, Kinuthia Peter
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Elastic electron-atom collision data from experimental and theoretical studies is useful in the interpretation of spectra obtained in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy as well as in the Monte Carlo simulation of conduction electrons in solids. In principle the behavior of an electron-atom collision system is predicted by solving the Schrodinger equation. However this task is far from simple in that the equation can only be solved exactly for a two-body collision problem and consequently approximation methods are necessary for electron-atom scattering. In this study the Optical Model Potential method was used to calculate cross sections for elastic scattering of electrons by a magnesium atom at intermediate energies. Computer program PSCATT was developed to solve the Schrodinger equation numerically. Through use of a complex optical potential which accounts for possibility of inelastic processes at intermediate energies, the results obtained were found to be in fairly good agreement with recent measured results. The present results were also found to be comparable to, and in some cases better than, theoretical results obtained using sophisticated multi-channel methods. The computer program used in this study is much less demanding on computer power than the computer codes associated with multi-channel methods which has implications in terms of reducing research costs.