Strazisar, B.R., C. Lin and H.F. Davis, “Vibrationally Inelastic Scattering of High-n Rydberg H Atoms from N2 and O2”, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 86(18), pp. 3997-4000, 2001. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.86.3997
The vibrationally inelastic scattering of Rydberg H atoms (n = 30-50) from N2 and O2 at E(coll) = 1.84 eV was studied as a function of laboratory deflection angle. On average, 4 times more vibrational excitation was observed in collisions with O2 than with N2. Vibrational excitation of O2 results largely from collisions in which an electron is briefly transferred from O2 to the proton core, while the Rydberg electron remains a spectator. This provides further evidence that the free electron model applies to low energy collisions involving the ionic core leading to substantial momentum transfer.
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