EXAMPLES · REFERENCES · SEE_ALSO
NAME
ntcontour  Plot contours of N_e or T_esensitive line ratios
USAGE
ntcontour atom spectrum primary
DESCRIPTION
This task computes and plots curves that show the range of electron temperatures (T_e), electron densities (N_e), and/or intensity ratios that are consistent with a specified diagnostic. A family of secondary curves may optionally be plotted, where each curve may be specified explicitly or as a set of successive, small differences from the reference ratio, giving the appearance of contours. Though for most ions there are default diagnostics for N_e and T_e, it is possible to customize the diagnostic to the ratio of any of the supported transitions. This task may be run interactively, so that it is possible to investigate any number of diagnostics quickly. This task is particularly useful for determining the range of N_e and T_e where a particular diagnostic is sensitive, for investigating nontraditional diagnostics, and for estimating the consequences of a given level of uncertainty in an observed line ratio. The diagnostics are computed within the Nlevel atom approximation. For more details about this approximation, type "help nlevel".
The user specifies the name and the spectrum number of the ion, and an expression for the fixed value of interest (i.e., the N_e, T_e, or the reddeningcorrected diagnostic line ratio, as appropriate). The output will be a plot with a curve of the specified type, with the abscissa axis being either N_e or T_e, and the ordinate axis being either T_e or the intensity ratio depending upon the setting of the "plot_type" parameter. For plot_types of "IN" or "IT" the intended type of diagnostic is apparent (density or temperature, respectively) and the default ratio can be determined, but for plot_type=TN it is possible that the selected ion could serve as either a density or a temperature indicator. In this case the type of diagnostic will be determined from the value of the "diag_type" parameter. The default diagnostic line ratios for the various ions can be viewed in the online help for "nlevel". It is possible to customize the line ratio using the "transition" parameter and an expression for the ratio of interest. For details, see the explanation for this parameter and the examples below.
Secondary curves may in addition be plotted, and are specified in one of two ways. The most direct way is to provide a list of values in the "clist" parameter which (like the "primary" value) specify the fixed quantities for the curves. The user may alternatively specify both a multiplicative increment (in dex, the decimal exponent) to the primary (or reference) ratio, and the number of desired contour pairs above/below the reference curve. In this case the task will plot a pair of curves for each value/increment of the diagnostic. The number of pairs plotted is set with the "ncontours" task parameter.
A number of optional parameters specify the appearance of the initial plot. A dotted curve denotes the reference value of interest, and the solid curves denote secondary contours. The user may specify the color of each type of curve, provided the output device supports color. Note that if the reference ratio falls out of bounds (i.e., is unphysical), those points on the curve(s) will not be plotted; if no points can be plotted on the reference curve, the task will report an error.
CURSOR COMMANDS
This task will by default run interactively, allowing the plot axes, the appearance, and the selected ion to be changed with a set of simple cursor and colon commands.
 NTCONTOUR CURSOR KEYS

c Report the world coordinates of the cursor q Quit the task r Redraw the graph I Interrupt task immediately ? Display this help document : Enter command/value pairs
 NTCONTOUR COLON COMMANDS
 Each colon command takes one argument and may be abbreviated.
Multiple command/value pairs may be entered at a time. If no
argument is given then the current value is printed. String
values must be quoted if they contain spaces or special
characters.
:atom [string] Set the atom :clist [string] Set the list of secondary contours :diagtype [string] Set the diagnostic type (densitytemperature) :dmin [real] Set the minimum density plot limit :dmax [real] Set the maximum density plot limit :dscale [string] Select log/linear plot scale for N_e :imin [real] Set the minimum intensity plot limit :imax [real] Set the maximum intensity plot limit :iscale [string] Select log/linear plot scale for intensity :interval [real] Set the interval (in dex) between contours :ion [int] Set the ion :ncontours [int] Set no. contours above/below primary curve :plottype [string] Set the type of plot: TN, IN, IT :primary [string] Set the expression for the primary contour :refcolor [int] Set color of the reference curve :resolution [int] Set the curve resolution :title [string] Set the title ("default" selects default title) :tmin [real] Set the minimum temperature plot limit :tmax [real] Set the maximum temperature plot limit :tscale [string] Select log/linear plot scale for T_e :transition [string] Set the transition for a custom diagnostic
PARAMETERS
 atom = "oxygen" [string]
 Name of ion, which is one of: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, neon, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, sulfur, chlorine, argon, potassium, or calcium.
 spectrum = [int]
 Spectrum number of the atom, e.g. "3" for [O III], "2" for [S II], etc. Must lie in the range 1 <= spectrum <= 8.
 primary = "" [string]
 Algebraic expression for the ratio of the diagnostic line flux. The expression is evaluated with FORTRANlike rules for supported operators and the order of their evaluation.
 (output = "") [string]
 Name of an output table to contain the computed curves (NOT YET IMPLEMENTED).
 plot_type = "TN" [string]
 Type of plot to generate: "TN" for T_e vs. N_e, "IN" for intensity vs. N_e, "IT" for intensity vs. T_e.
 (diag_type = "density") [string]
 If plotting T_e vs. N_e, select the type of diagnostic ("density" or "temperature") corresponding to the transition. That is, if the diagnostic is densitysensitive, solve for T_e, and vice versa.
 (transition = "default") [string]
 Expression for the transition, if not the "default". Transitions are specified with the special function "J" (for the emissivity): the arguments are the upper and lower levels of the transition. For example, the traditional density diagnostic of [O II] is the ratio of the intensities for the transition I(3>1) to that of I(2>1)i.e., I(3726)/I(3729). The corresponding expression for would be "J(3,1)/J(2,1)". The expression is evaluated with FORTRANlike expression rules.
 (clist = "") [string]
 List of diagnostic values for secondary curves.
 (interval = 0.) [real]
 If "clist" is blank and "ncontours" is nonzero, the secondary contour intervals will be derived from this parameter, which is a multiplicative deviation from the primary diagnostic value, in dex.
 (ncontours = 0) [int]
 If "clist" is blank and "interval" is nonzero, this parameter specifies the number of contour pairs to plot on the high/low sides of the reference curve.
 (min_dens = 10.) [real]
 Minimum density for initial plot, in units of 1/cm^3; must lie in the range 1 to 1.e+7, and must be less than "max_dens".
 (max_dens = 1.e+8) [real]
 Maximum density for initial plot, in units of 1/cm^3; must lie in the range 10 to 1.e+8, and must exceed "min_dens".
 (log_ne = yes) [boolean]
 Plot the electron density with a log scale?
 (min_temp = 2000.) [real]
 Minimum temperature for initial plot, in units of Kelvins; must lie in the range 500 to 50,000 K, and must be less than "max_temp".
 (max_temp = 3.0e+4) [real]
 Maximum temperature for initial plot, in units of Kelvins; must lie in the range 1,000 to 100,000 K, and must exceed "min_temp".
 (log_te = no) [boolean]
 Plot the electron temperature with a log scale?
 (min_intens = 1.e2) [real]
 Minimum intensity for initial plot, in arbitrary units; must exceed 1.e7 and must be less than "max_intens".
 (max_intens = 10.) [real]
 Maximum intensity for initial plot, in arbitrary units; must exceed 1.e7 and "min_intens".
 (log_intens = no) [boolean]
 Plot the line intensity ratio with a log scale?
 (resolution = 51) [int]
 Max number of data points to plot for the range of abscissae. Increasing this number improves the fidelity of the curve, at the expense of execution time.
 (ref_color = 3) [int]
 Color for the curve corresponding to the primary, or reference value of the diagnostic ratio. Even if the output device supports color, the rendered color may vary with different output hardware.
 (delta_color = 1) [int]
 Color for the secondary, or "delta" curves; the default value is the "foreground" color, which is often rendered as either black or white. Even if the output device supports color, the rendered color may vary with different output hardware.
 (title = "default") [string]
 Optional plot title.
 (interactive = yes) [boolean]
 Run this task interactively?
 (device = stdgraph) [string]
 Output device for the plot.
 (cursor = "") [*gcur]
 Input for listdirected cursor commands.
 (append = no) [boolean]
 Append next plot to previous?
 (at_data = "at_data") [string]
 Pathname for atomic data reference tables.
EXAMPLES
1. Plot 5 curves in the N_e, T_e plane that are consistent with the [S II] density diagnostic ratio centered at ~0.7, in increments of dex(0.05), and adjust the default plot limits such that N_e < 1.e+6/cm^3 and T_e < 50,000 K.
cl> ntcontour sulfur 2 3.2/4.51 diag_type=density delta=0.05 \ >>> ncont=2 max_dens=1.E6 max_temp=5.e+4 interact
2. Plot curves in the N_e, intensity plane that are consistent with the [O II] density diagnostic ratio for T_e=10000. K, with secondary curves corresponding to T_e=5000 and T_e=15000.
cl> ntcontour oxygen 2 1.e4 plot_type=IN clist="5000. 1.5e4"
Once in interactive mode, change the plot limits to intensity < 4, 1.e2 < N_e < 1.e6, then replot:
:imax 4 dmin 1.e2 dmax 1.e6 r
Now change the plot to T_e vs. N_e; set the diagnostic ratio to 2.0 and the secondary curves to 1.0 and 3.0, then replot:
:plottype TN primary 2. clist "1. 3." r
3. Investigate the utility of a custom temperature diagnostic for O III. Plot curves in the N_e, T_e plane that are consistent with the ratio I(1661+1666)/I(4363) for values of 1.0 (primary), 0.5 and 1.5 (secondary). (Note that the transitions corresponding to these wavelengths can be found by running the "ionic" task first.)
cl> ntcont oxygen 3 1. diag_type=temperature clist="0.5 1.5" \ >>> transition="(j(6,3)+j(6,2))/j(5,4)" interact
REFERENCES
The 5level atom program, upon which this package is based, was originally written by M.M. DeRobertis, R. Dufour, and R. Hunt. This package was written by R.A. Shaw (STScI). A description was published by R.A. Shaw & R.J. Dufour (1994). Type "help nlevel" for additional information about the Nlevel atom approximation, and for references to the atomic parameters and the other literature references. Support for this software development was provided by the Astrophysics Data Program through NASA grant NAG51432, and through STScI internal research funds.
SEE ALSO
For general information about this package, type "help nebular opt=sysdoc".