How ions get their electrons back

Very unusual atomic states are being produced: Ions are created by removing not just one but 20 to 40 electrons from each atom. These ‘highly charged ions’ play an important role in current research. For a long time, people have been investigating what happens when such highly charged ions hit solid materials. This is important for many areas of application in materials research. Therefore it is crucial to know how the charge state of the ions change when they penetrate a material — but this is exactly what has been impossible to observe directly until now. New measurements at TU Wien (Vienna) show that the ions obey remarkably simple laws.
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