Really fast motion of a proton in a water molecule.
What is it about?
Experiments with ultrafast laser pulses show that protons within a water molecule can move on timescales of a few femtoseconds. The experimental manifestation of this is the unexpected formation of a hydrogen molecular ion, H2+, from a single water molecule upon its exposure to an intense beam of 5 femtosecond long laser pulses. Results of high-level quantum mechanical computations offer a theoretical rationalization of such ultrafast intra-molecular motion.
Why is it important?
By using fast enough pulses of intense laser light, it might now be possible create molecular entities that are normally not possible under conventional "weak-field" conditions prevalent in normal "test-tube" chemistry.
The following have contributed to this page: Deepak Mathur
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