Reaction Dynamics and Spectroscopy Group

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Rydberg atoms
Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy
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Last updated 24/04/2012

Current and Forthcoming Projects

Reactions with Rydberg atoms

EPSRC Funded Project (EPSRC website)

The reactive scattering of a Rydberg atom, A*, with a molecule (A* + BC ® AB + C*) is a new and interesting variation of a bimolecular reaction. By choosing the Rydberg state of the colliding atom one can change the character of the scattering between the usually studied 'extremes' of a neutral reaction with the collision partners in their ground electronic states (A + BC) and its ionic counterparts (e.g. A+ + BC). A highly excited Rydberg electron orbits around the ion core at great distance and slowly compared to the motion of the colliding nuclei. Thus, the Rydberg electron can be viewed as a spectator while the ionic reaction takes place.

Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy

Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) is a highly sensitive direct absorption technique which combined with a molecular beam allows the examination of cold molecules.

Classical Study of Reaction Mechanisms

We use Quasi-Classical Theory (QCT) to model the dynamics of A + BC ® AB + C reactions to gain greater insight into their behaviour and mechanisms. The current system under investigation is the H + DD isotopomer of the fundamental hydrogen exchange reaction. This reaction was thought to be well understood, however recent detailed calculations have revealed new unexpected reaction mechanisms.


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