Wave Functions and Reaction Pathways of Energetic Molecules
Final rept. 10 Apr 2000-9 Apr 2003
BROWN UNIV PROVIDENCE RI DEPT OF CHEMISTRY
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Specific aims of the project are to explore the observability and observation of quantum mechanical wave functions, and the reaction pathways of highly energetic molecules. The extent of the observability of vibrational wave functions in polyatomic molecules was determined. Using pump-probe diffraction methodologies, the effect of vibrational excitation was found to be on the order of 1, well observable using current experimental methodologies. The signatures of the vibrational excitation are found to be specific to the vibrational state, even when the vibrations are isoenergetic. Therefore, the diffraction technique is amenable to deliver three-dimensional views of the probability density distributions of vibrating molecules, potentially extending the limits with which matter can be imaged to the picometer regime. On the study of reaction pathways of energetic molecules, we extended our work on the development of multi-photon ionization via Rydberg states to quite a few molecules. We showed that the Rydberg spectra can be used to fingerprint the shape of a molecule. This discovery will have significant ramifications for analytical chemistry, as it may be possible to combine the Rydberg fingerprint technology with mass spectrometry. The technique could be applied to identify explosives in the presence of other volatile compounds. A patent has been applied for.
- Statistics and Probability
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
- Quantum Theory and Relativity