Shapes and Orientation in Collisionally Excited Atoms: A Comment on Density Matrices, Coordinate Frames and Coherence

  • Ingolf V. Hertel


With this contribution I wish to illustrate by two examples why and how to use the density matrix description for an atom after a collision process. In particular I want to show how a suitable choice of coordinate systems may facilitate this task. The two cases I wish to discuss are: 1) e + Na ↔ e + Na* and 2) Na + N2 ↔ Na* + N2. The subject of interest in the present context is the shape of the atomic charge cloud of the excited atom and its angular momentum created in such a collision. We shall, however, start with a few general remarks on the use of the density matrix for describing these characteristic dynamical parameters, thereby resuming the discussion presented in J. Macek’s1 lectures.


Density Matrix Excite Atom Collision Process Charge Cloud Outgoing Electron 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingolf V. Hertel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für MolekülphysikFreie Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany

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