Many large-scale numerical simulations of astrophysical plasmas must also reproduce the hydrogen ionization and the resulting emission spectrum, in some cases quite accurately. We describe a compact model hydrogen atom that can be readily incorporated into such simulations. It reproduces the recombination efficiency and line spectrum predicted by much larger calculations for a very broad range of densities and temperatures. Uncertainties in hydrogen collision data are the largest source of differences between our compact atom and predictions of more extensive calculations and underscore the need for accurate atomic data.

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Published in The Astrophysical Journal, v. 479, no. 1, p. 363-370.

© 1997. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

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