Faculty -- Phillip Stancil

Phillip Stancil

Phillip Stancil, Professor of Physics

Phillip Stancil, Professor of Physics

Professor of Physics

Biographical Information

PhD, Old Dominion University, 1994

Honors and Awards

Predoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1992-1994
Wigner Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1997-1999

Research Interests

Our work is at the interface of atomic and molecular (AM) physics with astrophysics. Accurate and complete AM data are required to facilitate reliable interpretation and modeling of astronomical observations. With the rapid advances in space- and ground-based telescope technology, the need for accurate AM data will only become more crucial. Using state-of-the-art quantum-mechanical techniques, we compute atomic and molecular data (cross sections, rate coefficients, transition probabilities, . . .) needed for the modeling of various astronomical environments. We either work closely with other theoretical astrophysicists to utilize this data in their models or we develop our own models.

Our AM physics program includes the investigation of charge transfer due to ion-atom and ion-molecule collisions, formation of diatomic molecules by radiative association, and photodissociation of diatomic molecules. We are involved in a large project to compute a comprehensive set of total and state-selective charge transfer data for use in astrophysical modeling. This data will be made available to the scientific user community via the WWW. We are now extending our program to include formation and destruction of polyatomic molecules, molecular line lists, and rovibrational (de)excitation due to neutral particle collisions.

Our research efforts in astrophysics have been primarily focused on the early Universe. Using the most recently available AM data, some computed by our group, we have investigated the formation of atoms and molecules in the recombination era. We have just began a new project to extend this work to the formation of the very first cosmological objects, i.e., primordial stars and galaxies, with an emphasis on the role of primordial molecules. We are also interested in other astrophysical and atmospheric environments including brown dwarfs, x-ray emission for Jupiter and comets, extrasolar giant planets, supernova ejecta, stellar atmospheres, and the interstellar medium.

Recent Publications

G. Shaw, G.J. Ferland, W.J. Henney, P.C. Stancil, N.P. Abel, E.W. Pellegrini, J.A. Baldwin, and P.A.M. van Hoof, "Rotational Warm Molecular Hydrogen in the Orion Bar," Astrophys. J. , submitted (2008).

V. Kharchenko, A. Bhardwaj, A. Dalgarno, D. R. Schultz, and P. C. Stancil, "Modeling Spectra of the North and South Jovian X-ray Auroras, " J. Geophys. Res. 113, 8229 (2008).

N. P. Abel, S. R. Federman, and P. C. Stancil, "The Effects of Doubly Ionized Chemistry on SH+ and S2+ Abundances in X-ray Dominated Regions, " Astrophys. J. 675, L81 (2008).

G. Shaw, G.J. Ferland, N.P. Abel, P.C. Stancil, and P.A.M. van Hoof, "Molecular hydrogen in star-forming regions: implementation of its micro-physics in Cloudy," Astrophys. J. 624, 794 (2005).

D. W. Savin, P. S. Krstic, Z. Haiman, and P. C. Stancil, "Rate Coefficients for H+ + H2 -> H + H2+ Charge Transfer and some Cosmological Implications," Astrophys. J. 606, L167 (2004).

S. Lepp, P. C. Stancil, and A. Dalgarno, "Atomic and Molecular Processes in the Early Universe," J. Phys. B 35, R57 (2002).