EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 461, Number 2, January II 2007
Page(s) 767 - 773
Section Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20066266

A&A 461, 767-773 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066266

Experimental Mg I oscillator strengths and radiative lifetimes for astrophysical applications on metal-poor stars

New data for the Mg I b triplet
M. Aldenius1, J. D. Tanner2, S. Johansson1, H. Lundberg3, and S. G. Ryan2, 4

1  Atomic Astrophysics, Lund Observatory, Lund University, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
    e-mail: maria@astro.lu.se
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK
3  Atomic Physics, Department of Physics, Lund Institute of Technology, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
4  Centre for Astrophysics Research, STRI, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, UK

(Received 18 August 2006 / Accepted 26 September 2006 )

Context.The stellar abundance ratio of Mg/Fe is an important tool in diagnostics of galaxy evolution. In order to make reliable measurements of the Mg abundance of stars, it is necessary to have accurate values for the oscillator strength (f-value) of each of the observable transitions. In metal-poor stars the $\ion{Mg}{i}$ 3p-4s triplet around 5175 Å (Fraunhofer's so-called b lines) are the most prominent magnesium lines. The lines also appear as strong features in the solar spectrum.
Aims.We present new and improved experimental oscillator strengths for the optical $\ion{Mg}{i}$ 3p-4s triplet, along with experimental radiative lifetimes for six terms in $\ion{Mg}{i}$. With these data we discuss the implications on previous and future abundance analyses of metal-poor stars.
Methods.The oscillator strengths have been determined by combining radiative lifetimes with branching fractions, where the radiative lifetimes are measured using the laser induced fluorescence technique and the branching fractions are determined using intensity calibrated Fourier Transform (FT) spectra. The FT spectra are also used for determining new accurate laboratory wavelengths for the 3p-4s transitions.
Results.The f-values of the $\ion{Mg}{i}$ 3p-4s lines have been determined with an absolute uncertainty of 9%, giving an uncertainty of $\pm $0.04 dex in the log gf values. Compared to values previously used in abundance analyses of metal-poor stars, rescaling to the new values implies an increase of typically 0.04 dex in the magnesium abundance.

Key words: atomic data -- line: profiles -- methods: laboratory -- techniques: spectroscopic -- stars: abundances

© ESO 2006