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Molecular physics

Break-up breakdown

Molecules ionize and fragment when subjected to energetic radiation. The behaviour of a simple molecule, deuterium, can now be tracked through this process in greater detail than ever before.

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Figure 1: A three-dimensional ‘photograph’1 of the double ionization of deuterium molecules, initiated by the absorption of photons.

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Reddish, T. Break-up breakdown. Nature 431, 404–405 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/431404a

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