The paper presents an integrated view of the population structure and its role in establishing the ionization state of light elements in dynamic, finite density, laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. There are four main issues, the generalized collisional-radiative picture for metastables in dynamic plasmas with Maxwellian free electrons and its particularizing to light elements, the methods of bundling and projection for manipulating the population equations, the systematic production/use of state selective fundamental collision data in the metastable resolved picture to all levels for collisonal-radiative modelling and the delivery of appropriate derived coefficients for experiment analysis. The ions of carbon, oxygen and neon are used in illustration. The practical implementation of the methods described here is part of the ADAS Project.
- electron-impact excitation
- dielelectronic recombibnation
- isoelectronic sequence
- level populations
- rate coefficinets