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X-Ray Absorption and Scattering by Interstellar Grains

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      Abstract

      Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. An open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), is presented that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition.

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      Journal
      2015-09-29
      2016-02-04
      1509.08987 10.3847/0004-637X/817/2/139

      http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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      ApJ 817 139 2016
      32 pages, 15 figures
      astro-ph.HE astro-ph.GA astro-ph.IM astro-ph.SR

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