Current Problems and Future Prospects for Polyatomic Van der Waals Molecules and Small Clusters: Theory

  • George E. Ewing
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 227)


The beginnings of the theory of dynamics of Van der Waals molecules and small clusters go back many decades. Over forty years ago, Stepanovl made the suggestion that short vibrational predissociation lifetimes might account for the diffuse bands commonly observed in the infrared spectra of hydrogen bonding systems. In 1974 an estimate of this lifetime was provided by Klemperer2 who scaled the gas phase vibrational relaxation rate constant for HF + HF* collisions by the frequency of vibration against the hydrogen bond in the complex HF...HF*. Over the next several years three independent derivations of an identical analytical expression that provided vibrational predissociation lifetimes of Van der Waals molecules were published by Coulson and Robertson3, Beswick and Jortner4 and Ewing5. Within this same period, Child and Ashton6 performed the first numerical calculation of vibrational predissociation based on a realistic anisotropic intermolecular potential. The decade that has followed the development of these early theoretical approaches has seen a proliferation of models and calculations in response to the excellent experimental measurements that continue to call for explanation.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Ewing
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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