CHAPTER 9: Molecular Impurities Interacting with a Many-particle Environment: From Ultracold Gases to Helium Nanodroplets
Published:06 Dec 2017
M. Lemeshko and R. Schmidt, in Cold Chemistry: Molecular Scattering and Reactivity Near Absolute Zero, ed. O. Dulieu and A. Osterwalder, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, pp. 444-495.
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In several settings of physics and chemistry one has to deal with molecules interacting with some kind of an external environment, be it a gas, a solution, or a crystal surface. Understanding molecular processes in the presence of such a many-particle bath is inherently challenging, and usually requires large-scale numerical computations. Here, we present an alternative approach to the problem, based on the notion of the angulon quasiparticle. We show that molecules rotating inside superfluid helium nanodroplets and Bose–Einstein condensates form angulons, and therefore can be described by straightforward solutions of a simple microscopic Hamiltonian. Casting the problem in the language of angulons allows us not only to greatly simplify it, but also to gain insights into the origins of the observed phenomena and to make predictions for future experimental studies.