I am going through the theory of Saha equation but I am not able to understand the concept of ionisation state? What are ionization states actually?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I guess this question is more appropriate at physics.SE, but briefly: It's the degree to which an atom — or an ensemble of atoms — is ionized. That is, is it missing one, two, three, etc. electrons. But beware: Whereas chemists, and normal physicists I think, use the notation (with iron as an example) Fe, Fe$^{+1}$, Fe$^{+2}$, Fe$^{+3}$, etc. for neutral, singly-ionized, and doubly-ionized, triply-ionized iron, astronomers use Fe I, Fe II, Fe III, Fe IV, etc. That is, [astronomers' Roman number] = [chemists Arabic number] + 1. $\endgroup$
    – pela
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ The comment by Pela is the correct answer. Astronomers needed a way to designate the neutral or un-ionized state. $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2016 at 0:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @pela In fact, this goes to Chemist SE (ionizing atoms). $\endgroup$
    – User123
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 18:45


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .