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Nuclear fluxes in diatomic molecules deduced from pump-probe spectra with spatiotemporal resolutions down to 5 pm and 200 asec.

Authors
  • Manz, Jörn
  • Pérez-Torres, Jhon Fredy
  • Yang, Yonggang
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review Letters
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
Oct 10, 2013
Volume
111
Issue
15
Pages
153004–153004
Identifiers
PMID: 24160597
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

When molecules move, their nuclei flow. The corresponding quantum observable, i.e., the nuclear flux density, was introduced by Schrödinger in 1926, but until now, it has not been measured. Here the first experimental results are deduced from high-resolution pump-probe measurements of the time-dependent nuclear densities in a vibrating diatomic molecule or molecular ion. The nuclear densities are converted to flux densities by means of the continuity equation. The flux densities are much more sensitive to time-dependent quantum effects than the densities. Applications to the sodium molecule and the deuterium molecular ion unravel four new effects; e.g., at the turns from bond stretch to compression, the flux of the nuclei exhibits multiple changes of directions, from small to large bond lengths, a phenomenon that we call the "quantum accordion."

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