Non-thermal recombination - a neglected source of flare hard X-rays and fast electron diagnostics (Corrigendum)
Brown and Mallik (BM) recently claimed that non-thermal recombination (NTR) can be a dominant source of flare hard X-rays (HXRs) from hot coronal and chromospheric sources. However, major discrepancies between the thermal continua predicted by BM and by the Chianti database as well as RHESSI flare data, led us to discover substantial errors in the heuristic expression used by BM to extend the Kramers expressions beyond the hydrogenic case. Here we present the relevant corrected expressions and show the key modified results. We conclude that, in most cases, NTR emission was overestimated by a factor of 1-8 by BM but is typically still large enough (as much as 20-30% of the total emission) to be very important for electron spectral inference and detection of electron spectral features such as low energy cut-offs since the recombination spectra contain sharp edges. For extreme temperature regimes and/or if the Fe abundance were as high as some values claimed, NTR could even be the dominant source of flare HXRs, reducing the electron number and energy budget, problems such as in the extreme coronal HXR source cases reported by e.g. Krucker et al.