Gaunt factor

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The Gaunt factor (or Kramers-Gaunt factor) is used as a multiplicative correction to the continuous absorption or emission results when calculated using classical physics techniques. In cases where classical physics provides a close approximation, the Gaunt factor can be set to 1.0. It varies from this value in cases where quantum mechanics becomes important.[1]

The Gaunt factor was named after the physicist John Arthur Gaunt, based on his work on the quantum mechanics of continuous absorption.[2] Gaunt used a 'g' function in his 1930 work, which Chandrasekhar named the 'Gaunt factor' in 1939.[3] It is sometimes named the Kramers-Gaunt factor as Gaunt incorporated the work of Hendrik Anthony Kramers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dopita, Michael A.; Sutherland, Ralph S. (2003). Astrophysics of the diffuse universe. Astronomy and astrophysics library. Springer. p. 128. ISBN 3-540-43362-7. 
  2. ^ Garstang, R. H. (May 1993). "Gaunt and his Factor". Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. 25: 934. Bibcode:1993AAS...182.8104G. 
  3. ^ Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (1958). "An introduction to the study of stellar structure". Astrophysical monographs. Courier Dover Publications: 262. ISBN 0-486-60413-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gaunt, J. A. (1930). "Continuous Absorption". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical or Physical Character. 229 (670–680): 163–204. Bibcode:1930RSPTA.229..163G. doi:10.1098/rsta.1930.0005.