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Paper: Which Hydrogen Balmer Lines are Most Reliable for Determining White Dwarf Atmospheric Parameters?
Volume: 493, 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
Page: 399
Authors: Falcon, R. E.; Rochau, G. A.; Bailey, J. E.; Gomez, T. A.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Nagayama, T.
Abstract: Our preliminary results from laboratory experiments studying white dwarf (WD) photospheres show a systematic difference between experimental plasma conditions inferred from measured Hβ absorption line profiles versus those from Hγ. One hypothesis for this discrepancy is an inaccuracy in the relative theoretical line profiles of these two transitions. This is intriguing because atmospheric parameters inferred from H Balmer lines in observed WD spectra show systematic trends such that inferred surface gravities decrease with increasing principal quantum number, n. If conditions inferred from lower-n Balmer lines are indeed more accurate, this suggests that spectroscopically determined DA WD masses may be greater than previously thought and in better agreement with the mean mass determined from gravitational redshifts.
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