Dr. Sultana Nurun Nahar


  • RESEARCH: Atomic Astrophysics, Spectroscopy, and Astrophysical and Biomedical Applications. Our research involves both theoretical and computational developments. Facilies at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) of OH-TECH have an integral part of projects.

    Blackhole THE OPACITY PROJECT & Blackhole THE IRON PROJECT, Blackhole Prof. Micheal J. Seaton (founder of the OP)

  • The Opacity Project (OP) and The Iron Project (IP) collaboration, and
    the OP Objectives, and the IP Objectives

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  • Pics: 1-3: Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) workshop, August 7-8, 2006: Iron Project members and "High Accuracy Atomic Physics in Astronomy", Honoring M.J. Seaton, workshop organized by A.K. Pradhan and S.N. Nahar, Pic 4: Astronomy students labelling Nahar "IRON LADY" on her office door
    - ITAMP (Harvard-CfA) newsletter, "High Accuracy Atomic Physics in Astronomy", Spring 2007

  • As a member of the international collaborations, the Opacity Project and the Iron Project , a significant part my researh is related to them.

  • Objectives of the projects: To study and calculate accurate atomic parameters for radiative and collisional processes of astrophysically abundant atoms and ions for applications to astrophysical plasmas.
  • Theoretical calculations employ state-of-the-art quantum mechanical techniques based on the ab initio R-matrix method in the close coupling approximation.
  • Leading contributor for the radiative processes of the Iron Project team
  • The atomic processes under investigation are dominant in astrophysical plasmas. The results are applicable to both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas for spectral and diagnostic analysis.

  • PUBLICATIONS (Nahar full list):

  • Publications on solar opacity

  • OP Publications: They are in the two compiled volumes - The Opacity Project Team ."The Opacity Project", Vol 1, 1995, Vol. 2, 1996, Institute of Physics Publishing

  • IP Publications: Partial list at "The IRON Project Publication List"

  • Additional IP/OP publications at webpage of member Prof. Anil K. Pradhan

  • Examples of invited presentations:
    - Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt, March 7, 2013: "Solar plasma opacity and nebular elemental abundances", Sultana N. Nahar
    - Intl Symp on Climate Change & Food Security in South Asia 2008 (UN sponsored), SESSION 4: "Solar Irradiation of the Earth's Atmosphere"


  • Atomic Data: Energy levels, Oscillator Strenths, Photoionization Cross Sections
    TOPbase at CDS

  • Atomic Data: Collisional Excitations, and Radiative Processes (include fine structure)
    TIPbase at CDS

  • Latest Atomic Data: Energy levels, Oscillator Strenths, Photoionization Cross Sections, Recombination cross sections and rate coefficients, Collision strengths, Lifetimes

  • Monochromatic opacities and program for mixtures
    OPServer at Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC)


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  • August 2017: Iron Project and OP/IPv2 meeting, i) Regener, Sultana, Patrick, Claudio, Shashi, Lianshui, Tony, ii) Anil, Patrick, Lianshui, Shashi, Tony, Javier, Franck, Manuel, Claudio, iii) Discussions - Workshop on Astrophysical Opacities (WAO), Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

  • TEAM MEMBERS (past and present) are from a number of places:

    - The Ohio State University,
    - University College London,
    - Stuttgart University,
    - Observatorie de Paris
    - Belfast University,
    - IVIC-Venezuela,
    - Shefield University

  • Dr. Lotfia El Nadi, Egypt,

    Iron Lady for considerable work on iron ions referred in:
    - In the first annual OSU Astronomy Magazine: "Meet the Iron Lady", p.21, 2005
    - Chapter 5: "Dreaming of the Star Treatment" in the book "Science Unshacled" (Renee James, Fall 2014, Johns Hopkins U press)) describes astronomical study and leads to cancer treatment that we propose, Title of section 35 "The Iron Lady and the Gold Standard"
    - In "What has astronomy done for you lately?" in Astronomy magazine, May 2012, p.31-35 (4 items: GPS, wireless internet, RNPT, and laser surgery of eyes)
    - OSC Highlights "High-precision atomic astrophysics: From black holes to nanotechnology" of its calendar, Feb, 2010
    - Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) press release "X-ray researchers turn focus from black holes to cancer", Columbus, OH, January 28, 2010

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  • Project collaborators: L: Sultana, Jim Bailey, Anil at Sandia Z Workshop 2015, M: Group meeting at OSU with Reger Trampedach from Space Sciences at Colarado 2017, R: OSU visit by Jeff Valenti for UV opacity project, 2016

  • Objective: Solar opacity is directly related to its abundances of elements and iron is one dominant element causing considerable opacity. The solar iron opacity project aims to resolve the decage long standing controversy for the abundances of the sun.

  • Description of the process: High Accuracy Radiative Data For Plasma Opacities, Invited presentation at ASOS 2010, Berkeley

    On oscillator strengths and photoionization of Iron ions (Fe XIV - Fe XX) for solar opacity

  • Recent extended work on Fe VIII photoionization using 99-cc wavefunction expansion by Nahar indicates considerable missing photoabsorption in the current opacity, Z Fundamental Science Program Workshop, Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque, July 2015

  • Team members of IRON OPACITY Project:

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Werner Eissner, Stuttgart University, Germany
  • Dr. Chris Orban, OSU
  • Dr. James E. Bailey, Z Fundamental Science Research (ZFSP), Sandia National Lab, Alburquerque, NM, at ZFSP workshop 2015, Albuquerque
  • Dr. Regner Trampedach, Space Research Lab, Colorado at ZFSP workshop 2015, Albuquerque


  • Objective: Study opacity of neutrals or near neutrals in the photosphere of cool stars

  • Collaborators:

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Jeff Valenti, Space Telescope and Science Institute, USA (Jeff's visit Jan 2016)

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    i) 2016: Past collaborator Dr. Jean-Marc Bizau, DAMOP, ii) OSC Presentation of photoionization of P II (a basic element of life) (Sultana and Russ Pitzer), ii) 2017 Workshop on Astrophysical Opacities: Fe XVII photoionization impact on solar opacity, iii) DAMOP 2014: Keith MacAdam

  • Found number of prominent features in photoionization which are described in text book "Atomic Astrophysics and Spectroscopy (AAS)"

  • Description of the process: Photoionization
  • Publications in Photoionization/ Opacity/ Modeling
  • Cross sections available at NORAD-Atomic-Data

  • Significant part of the work are carried out under the Opacity Project and the Iron Project

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Werner Eissner, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Dr. Claude Zeippen, Observatorie De Paris, France
  • Dr. Honglin Zhang, Los Alamos National Lab, New Mexico
  • Dr. Aaron Sigut, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Dr. Justin Oelgoetz, Austin Peay State University, Tennessee
  • Dr. Manual Bautista, Western Michigan University
  • Dr. Ron Phaneuf, University of Nevada
  • Dr. Aaron Covington, University of Nevada
  • Dr. Alex Aguiar, University of Nevada
  • Dr. Guillermo iHinojos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Dr. Jean-Marc Bizau, ISMO, Universite Paris-Sud, France
  • VahidReza Adineh, Iran


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    i) 1994: Stellar modeling, U of Kentucky, Mike Seaton and Osterbrock

  • Introduced with A.K. Pradhan "the unified method" for total electron-ion recombination (see publications and book AAS)

    - Lyman Spitzer's appreciation on unified method: Letter 1, Letter 2

  • Description of the process: Electron-ion recombination
  • Publications in Electron-Ion Recombination
  • Cross sections, recombination rates available at NORAD-Atomic-Data

  • Significant part of the work are carried out under the Opacity Project and the Iron Project

  • Examples of invited presentations:
    - Workshop: "Atomic Physics in Astronomy", Honoring M.J. Seaton, ITAMP-HARVARD, (2006): "The Iron Project: Atomic Processes in Astrophysical Plasmas

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Hong Lin Zhang, Los Alamos National Lab
  • Dr. Manual Bautista, Western Michigan University


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  • i) Slide shows interpretation of photoabsorption due to Fe II on Planck's distribution curve of the sun, Perkins Observatory, Ohio, Jan 19, 2017 ii) 2015 DAMOP: Charlotte, Sultana, Jim - in radiative transitions

  • Developed spectroscopy for identifications of calculated levels and transitions in R-matrix method (see publications and book AAS)

  • Description of the process: Radiative transition probabilities
  • Publications in Radiative transitions and lifetimes
  • Transition parameters (f,S,A), lifetimes are available at NORAD-Atomic-Data

  • Significant part of the work are carried out under the Opacity Project and the Iron Project

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Werner Eissner, Stuttgart University, Germany
  • Dr. Franck Delahaye, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France
  • Dr. Chiranjib Sur, Shell Lab, India
  • Dr. Gouxin-Chen, ITAMP-Harvard
  • Dr. Gultekin Celik, Turkey
  • Dr. Sule Ates, Turkey
  • Dr. Akeel Hashem, Iraq
  • Mr. Luo Yi,
  • Mr. J. Peng
  • Mahmudul Hasan, Bangladesh
  • Dr. Tahmina Ferdous, Bangladesh
  • Dr. Betul Ataly, Turkey


  • With A.K. Pradhan developed method to obtain detailed features with natural broadening of DES lines, not obtained in isolated resonance method.

  • Description of the process: Di-electronic satellite lines
  • Detailed theory: Dielectronic Satellite Lines
  • Publications in DES lines and astrophysical applications

  • The method is based on extention of the Unified Theory for total electron-ion recombination.

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan
  • Dr. Ramadan Semida, Egypt


  • Employ relativistic Breit-Pauli R-matirx (BPRM) method to calculate collision strengths for EIE and study features with high accuracy for solution of abundance problems in this plasmas (see publications and book AAS)

  • Description of the process: astrophysical background, process, and features of collision strengths: ex. Ne V
  • Theory: Electron-ion scattering and line ratios
  • Publications on collision strengths and line ratios
  • Limited number of collision strengths are available at NORAD-Atomic-Data

  • Studied oxygen and neon for planetary nebulae, ULIRG

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan
  • Dr. Werner Eissner, Stuttgart University, Germany
  • Dr. Maximiliano Montenegro, Catholic University of Chile
  • Ethan Palay, Collarado School of Mines
  • Michael Dance, University of North Carolina
  • Hala, OSU and Aligarh Muslim University
  • Yasin Gokce, Turkey
  • Dr. Lotfia El Nadi, Egypt,


    Blackhole Carl Segan popularize "We are made of star dusts", line of a popular song. We find all our body elements scattered in the space and all of them have astronomical origin (Cosmic self cartoon, New York times 2015)
    Although phosphorus (P) is a basic element of life, contained in DNA/RNA, we find very little P in space raising the question - is this the reason for not finding any lifeform out there?

  • OUR PROJECT: To study and give spectroscopic features of P ions that can facilitate the search through telescopes and identify of its existence in the astronomical objects, particularly in exoplanetary systems where lifeforms can be found.

  • An overview public presentation "EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE: PHOSPHORUS", S.N. Nahar, Perkins Observatory, Delaware, Ohio, 2020


  • "Collision strengths for FIR and UV transtions in P III and the phosphorus abundance", Rahla Naghma, Sultana N. Nahar, Anil K. Pradhan, MNRAS Lett 479, Issue 1, L60-L64 (2018)
  • ``Photoionization and electron-ion recombination of P~II", S.N. Nahar, MNRAS 469, 3225¿3231 (2017)
  • ``Photoionization of P+: Experiment and Theory", S.N. Nahar, E. M. Hern\'andez, L. Hern\'andez, A. Antill\'on, A. Morales-Mori, O. Gonz\'alez, A. M. Covington, KC Chartkunchand, D. Hanstorp, A. M. Ju\'arez, G. Hinojosa, JQSRT 187, 215-223 (2017)
  • ``Photoionization cross sections of ground and excited levels of P II", S.N. Nahar, New Ast. 50, 19-24 (2017)

    PRESENTATIONS (partial list):

  • Title (keynote): "Spectra of Phosphorus for Astrophysical Modeling", S.N. Nahar (co-authors: B. Shafique, M. Rothman, R. Naghma), 2nd International Conference of Molecular Modeling and Spectroscopy, National Research Centre, Egypt. Sep 23-24, 2020
  • Invited talk: "Mystery of extra-terrestrial life with phosphorus", S.N. Nahar, AMU Centenary Webinar on "Prospects of STEM Education in 21st Century and Contributions of Women Scientists in STEM", Sultana N. Nahar, Indo-US APJ Abdul Kalam STEM Education and Research Center of OSU-AMY, India, October 13-14, 2020
  • Ttile (public): "Physics of phosphorus for a clude for extra-terrestial extra-terrestial life", S.N. Nahar, International webinar on Physics, Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST), Pabna, Bangladesh, Oct 1, 2020. (audience.from universities in Bangladesh and India)
  • Abstract: F03.00001: "Xray to far infrared spectrum of phosphorus \for astrophysical modeling", S. Nahar, B. Shafique, M. Rothman, R. Naghma, APS Ohio Section Fall 2020 Meeting, October 16¿17, 2020; VIRTUAL from Ohio
  • Abstract: J03.00008 : "Application of Monte Carlo Method to Simulate Radiation Transfer through Exoplanetary Atmospheres", Michael Rothman, A. Pradhan, S. Nahar, B. Shafique, K. Hoy, APS Fall 2021 Meeting of the Eastern Great Lakes Section (EGLS), November 12-13, 2021

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  • Oct 11, 2019: Maximilano Westphal receives his Ph.D. under Biophysics
    - i,ii) Ph.D. thesis presentation

    - iii,iv) Dr. M. Westphal with committee

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    - L: Presentation of "Monochromatic X-rays for Cancer Theranostics", i) DAMOP 2017, ii) SUG Meeting of OSC, Columbus, Dec 3, 2015, R: Biomed roup picture 2013

  • Proposed with A.K. Pradhan and Yu Yan, the new method "Resonant Nano-Plasma Theranostics (RNPT)" for cancer treatment - based on narrow band x-ray spectroscopy
  • Co-leader: Multi-disciplinary Biomedical Nanoscience program on RNPT: Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Pathology, Radiation Oncology

  • Description of the method: RNPT

  • Publications on RNPT
    - RNPT Research Activities and Publications

  • RNPT is referred to as one of the four important contributions of astronomy to human life: GPS, wireless internet, RNPT, and laser eye surgery (Astronomy magazine, May 2012, p.31-35).
  • Chapter 5: "Dreaming of the Star Treatment" in the book "Science Unshacled" (Renee James, Fall 2014, Johns Hopkins U press)) describes astronomical study and how it leads to RNPT for cancer treatment and includes section 35 "The Iron Lady and the Gold Standard"
  • Examples invited presentations:
    - Intl Symp on Molecular Spectroscoy, Session honoring R.M. Pitzer, Ohio State University, 2008: "ATOMIC SPECTROSCOPY: ASTRONOMY TO BIO-MEDICAL SCIENCE"

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Professor Anil K. Pradhan, OSU, USA
  • Dr. Yu Yan, Radiation Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Dr. Maximiliano Montenegro, Catholic University of Chile
  • Dr. Jian Wang, Radiation Oncology, OSU
  • Dr. Rolf Barth, Pathology, OSU
  • Dr. Sara Lim, Wisconsin Medican Institute
  • Max Westphal, Biophysics, OSU
  • Dr. Russel M. Pitzer, Chemistry, OSU
  • Dr. Claudia Tarra, Chemistry, OSU
  • Dr. Enam Chowdhury, Physics, OSU
  • Dr. Erica Bell, Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. Arnab Chakroborty, Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. Nilendu Gupta, Radiation Oncology, OSU

  • Recognitions


  • Wrote one extensive code for Dalitz integrals for positronium formation. Also wrote one code for electron-positron scatterings from atoms and spin polarization parameters during Ph.D. work and some continudation.

  • Description of the method: for positronium formation & for scatterings and spin polarization
  • Publications on electron, positron scatterings and spin polarization

  • The original and modified code for electron-positron scatterings from atoms and spin polarization parameters is used by many researchers in India.

  • Group Members (past and present):

  • Dr. J.M. Wadehra: Wayne State University
  • Dr. A.N. Tripathy, Roorkee Institute of Technology, India



  • Co-supervision of research projects of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, Astronomy Dept, OSU (1991 - present)

    - OSU: Dr. Rahla Nagha, Dr. Hala, Dr. Max Westphal, Dr. Lianshui Zhao, Dr. C. Sur, Ethan Palay, Dr. G.X. Chen, J. Peng, Luo Yi, Dr. M. Bautista, M. Dance, Dr. M. Montenegro, Dr. Sara Lim, Yasin Gokce
    - International: Dr. Akeel Hashem (Iraq), Dr. Betul Ataly (Turkey), Dr. Gultekin Celik (Turkey), Mr. Mahmudul Hasan (Bangladesh), Dr. Ramadan Semida (Egypt), Dr. Sule Ates (Turkey), Dr. Tahmina Ferdous (Bangladesh), Vahid Reza Adineh (Iran), Arun Goyal (India), Mayank Dimri (India)
    - Overseeing Research Advisor under OSU Obama-Singh STEM Faculty Training Project, 2013 - 2017: 8
    Asim Rizvi (Radiology), Malik Azeem (Molecular Genetics), Nida Rehman (Radiology), Pervez Alam (Nanobiotechnology), Swaleha Naseem (Physics), Taqseer Khan (Mathematics). Hala (Physics)

  • Some event pictures:

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  • i) Group, April 2022: F: Mitchell Button, Michael Rothman, B: Sultana, Kevein Hoy. Anil Pradhan, ii) Astronomy group

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  • i) Claudio Mendoza visit, Dec 2017, ii) Congratulations as Max Westphal received Paletonia Fellowship for 2018-2020 for RNPT work, iii) Lianshui Zhao defends his Ph.D. thesis, May 1, 2019

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  • DAMOP conference at Lauderale, Fl 2018

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  • i) Max's presentation at DAMOP 2016, ii) Burcin (Miami University, OH), Muneera (Dammam University) made presentations at Astronomy group meeting, August 2016 iii) Sultana at the Arab Conference of Astronomy and Geophysics, 5th assembly (ACAG-5), Egypt 2016,

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  • i) Group at ICPEAC conference 2009, ii) Group in 2013, iii) Sara's Ph.D. defence in 2014, i) "Low Energy X-ray Radiosensitization Activated with High-Z Elements",

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    Sara's defence i) Group waiting in Graves Hall hallway, ii) Dr. Sara N. Lim, iii) Sara with research advisors, OSU, November 6, 2014

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  • Ethan Palay presents collsional work at the Undergraduate Scholar Presentation, OSU, 2012, ii) Research group RNPT 2012

    2011: Group meeting- Sultana, Michael, Sara, Ethan, Anil

  • Intl Symp Molecular Spectroscopy, Ohio State University, 2008: Sultana presented invited talk at the session honoring Russ Pitzer who received honorary plaque at the meeting picnic

  • Events at DAMOP07 where Sultana received APS Fellowship recognition, Calgary, Canada, June, 2007