Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Brian Stewart

Major

Physics

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Hard sphere models have been used for decades to study the kinetics of molecular collisions of the A + BC system. Early colinear models of this collision, and exten- sions into three-dimensions for limited orientations have been instrumental in the study of vibrational energy transfer, but to date, no inelastic collision cross sections of this system have generated. Many of these studies have also left out side impacts as a mechanism of vibrational energy transfer, where A collides with BC along its equator and incites vibration by pushing the two atoms apart from each other. These have been shown to be a dominating mechanism in the vibrational energy transfer by Professor Stewart’s experimental results along with those of Dimpfl and Mahan . In this thesis, computational methods for calculating the final vibrational and ro- tational energies for arbitrary masses and orientations are discussed for a variety of molecular potentials. Namely, the cases in which B and C are connected by no molec- ular potential, a string potential, and a harmonic potential. Collision cross sections for the Li2-X system where X is H, He, Li, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe are presented and analyzed for each case studied.

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