Decoherence cross-section in NO + Ar collisions: experimental results vs. theoretical model calculations

M.-H. Chao, J. Tornero, K.-C. Lin, S. Stolte, A. Ureña

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Quantum decoherence can be viewed as the mechanism responsible for the quantum-to-classical transition as the initially prepared quantum state interacts with its environment in an irreversible manner. One of the most common mechanisms responsible for the macroscopically observed decoherence involves collisions of an atom or molecule, initially prepared in a coherent superposition of states, with gas particles. In this work, a coherent superposition of quantum internal states of NO molecules is prepared by the interaction between the molecule with both a static and a radiofrequency electric field. Subsequently, NO + Ar collision decoherence experiments are investigated by measuring the loss of coherence as a function of the number of collisions. Data analysis using a model based on the interaction potential of the collisional partners allowed to unravel the molecular mechanism responsible for the loss of coherence in the prepared NO quantum superposition of internal states. The relevance of the present work relies on several aspects. On the one hand, the use of radio-waves introduces a new way for the production of coherent beams. On the other hand, the employed methodology could be useful in investigating the Stereodynamics of chemical reactions with coherent reagents. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8119-8125
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Early online date5 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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