Atomic and molecular collision processes

Definition

Atomic and molecular collision processes are the physical interactions of atoms and molecules when they are brought into close contact with each other and with electrons, protons, neutrons or ions. This includes energy-conserving elastic scattering and inelastic scattering. Such collisions are an important probe of the structure and properties of matter.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Dissociating hydrogen gas seems like it should be as easy as pulling apart two identical atoms. But resonant electron-impact experiments reveal that quantum interference induces a fundamental asymmetry in the process.

    • Daniel S. Slaughter
    •  & Thomas N. Rescigno
  • News and Views |

    Three papers published in Nature Physics in 2009 revealed the intriguing three- and four-body bound states arising from the predictions by Vitaly Efimov nearly half a century ago. But some of these findings continue to puzzle the few-body physics community.

    • Cheng Chin
    •  & Yujun Wang
    Nature Physics 11, 449–451
  • News and Views |

    Solitons in attractive Bose–Einstein condensates are mesoscopic quantum objects that may prove useful as tools for precision measurement. A new experiment shows that collisions of matter-wave bright solitons depend crucially on their relative phase.

    • Thomas P. Billam
    •  & Christoph Weiss
    Nature Physics 10, 902–903
  • News and Views |

    One of the fundamental problems in few-body physics is the formation of diatomic molecules in three-atom collisions. An experimental technique now explores the resulting distribution of molecular quantum states in an ultracold gas.

    • Stefan Willitsch
    Nature Physics 9, 461–462