Angular correlation and polarization of x-rays emitted from highly charged ions
In collisions of highly charged ions with electrons or light, ions are usually excited to one of their excited states and, then, may stabilize radiatively under the emission of fluorescence photons. Detailed studies on the emitted photons can help understand the structure and collision dynamics of the ions. When compared with total decay rates, angle-resolved properties such as angular correlation and polarization of emitted photons were found more sensitive to various interactions and effects and, actually, have helped provide new insights into electron-electron and electron-photon interactions in the presence of strong Coulomb fields. For this reason, such kind of studies has attracted considerable interest in both theory and experiment. Until now, however, almost all studies of x-ray angular correlation and polarization were performed for photons emitted from well-isolated energy levels. Little attention was paid so far to photon emissions from two or more overlapping resonances of ions. In this thesis, we develop a novel theoretical formalism to study radiative decay from the overlapping resonances. Special attention is paid to the question of how the splitting of these resonances affect the angular and polarization properties of emitted photons. Calculations are performed based on the density matrix theory and multi-configuration Dirac-Fock method. The obtained results from several case studies show that the photon angular distribution and polarization are strongly affected by the splitting and sequence of the overlapping resonances. Therefore, we suggest that accurate angle-resolved measurements of photon emissions may serve as a tool to identify level splitting and sequence of overlapping resonances in excited highly charged ions, even if they cannot be spectroscopically resolved. When applied to the isotopes with non-zero nuclear spin, moreover, such a tool can also be used to determine hyperfine splitting and associated nuclear parameters.