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Theories of Molecular Reaction DynamicsThe Microscopic Foundation of Chemical Kinetics$
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Niels E. Henriksen and Flemming Y. Hansen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203864.001.0001

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Bimolecular reactions, dynamics of collisions

Bimolecular reactions, dynamics of collisions

(p.52) 4 Bimolecular reactions, dynamics of collisions
Theories of Molecular Reaction Dynamics

Niels E. Henriksen

Flemming Y. Hansen

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the dynamics of bimolecular collisions within the framework of (quasi-)classical mechanics as well as quantum mechanics. The relation between the cross-section and the reaction probability, which can be calculated theoretically from a (quasi-)classical or quantum mechanical description of the collision, is described in terms of classical trajectories and wave packets, respectively. As an introduction to reactive scattering, classical two-body scattering is described and used to formulate simple models for chemical reactions, based on reasonable assumptions for the reaction probability. Three-body (and many-body) quasi-classical scattering is formulated and the numerical evaluation of the reaction probability is described. The relation between scattering angles and differential cross-sections in various frames is emphasized. The chapter concludes with a brief description of non-adiabatic dynamics, that is, situations beyond the Born–Oppenheimer approximation where more than one electronic state is in play. A discussion of the so-called Landau–Zener model is included.

Keywords:   quasi-classical dynamics, reaction probability, cross-section, two-body scattering, many-body scattering, classical trajectory, wave packets, quantum scattering, non-adiabatic dynamics

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