The interest in the field of electron–atom collisions, and the closely related photon–atom interactions, ranges from fundamental science through to major industries. Interpretation of astrophysical plasmas relies critically on the knowledge of such collisions, and is particularly important at present due to the advances in ground- and space-based telescopes. On many instances, a reliable theory is the only means to interpret these observations.
Solving electron–atom or photon-atom collision problems poses both formal and computational difficulties. The primary complexity arises from the difficulties associated with treating three or more particles in the continuum interacting out to infinite distances via the Coulomb potential. Such a many-body Coulomb problem presents a theorist with a formidable challenge. In our group, we answer this challenge by developing state-of-the-art theoretical and computational methods employing most sophisticated algorithms and utilizing world's fastest computers. On several occasions, it has been documented that our solutions are actually more accurate than the experimental observations or measurements themselves.