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Galactic Chemical Abundance Studies: New Wavelength Domains, New Needs for Laboratory Astrophysics Advances

Presentation #235.03 in the session Laboratory Astrophysics (LAD) Division Meeting: History of Spectroscopic Instrumentation II.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Galactic Chemical Abundance Studies: New Wavelength Domains, New Needs for Laboratory Astrophysics Advances

The past few decades have seen major innovations in optical astronomical telescopes and instrumentation. Astronomical spectra have taken leaps in resolution and sensitivity at low light levels for increasingly distant objects. We can now probe chemical compositions over the entire Milky Way Galaxy instead of just the Solar neighborhood. The corresponding quiet revolution in atomic and molecular physics has been the bedrock that allows better spectra to be transformed into much more trustworthy stellar abundances. Those in turn have greatly refined our knowledge of Galactic chemical evolution. In this talk a few highlights of the close lab/stellar abundance connection will be given. Better astronomical stellar spectra in the ultraviolet and increasingly in the infrared now point to the need for renewed lab spectroscopy. Some examples will suggest ways in which improvements in transition data can yield significant advances in Galactic chemical evolution.

This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation grant AST-1616040

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