Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Brian Stewart

Major

Physics

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis presents a study of the dynamics of trajectory calculations at low velocity utilizing potentials for the Li$_2$-Ne and Li$_2$-Xe collisional systems. We have found that at these low velocities, significant rovibrational energy transfer still takes place. This is due to the fact that there exists a ``capture radius'' at these low velocities such that if the impact parameter of the incoming atom is within this capture radius, the mutual attraction between the rare gas atom and Li$_2$ molecule is strong enough to force the atom into the potential well of the collisional system. The energy that the atom gains as it falls down this steep potential well, in addition to the fact that there are actually a multitude of collisions that take place while the atom is in the well, allow for the possibility of significant energy transfer. In addition, we elucidate how changes in the initial vibrational and rotational quantum number affect the dynamics of this energy transfer. Finally, the fact that these low initial velocities correspond to ultra-cold temperatures suggest the possibility that these results can be tested experimentally in a device such as a magento-optical trap.

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