Atomic excitations are used to obtain information on the course of a nuclear reaction. Employing a semiclassical picture we calculate the emission of δ electrons and positrons in deep inelastic nuclear reactions for the example of U+U collisions incorporating nuclear trajectories resulting from two different nuclear friction models. The emission spectra exhibit characteristic deviations from those expected for elastic Coulomb scattering. The theoretical probabilities are compared with recent experimental data by Backe et al. A simple model is used to estimate the influence of a threebody breakup of the compound system upon atomic excitations
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