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          Institute: Fritz-Haber-Institut     Collection: Molecular Physics     Display Documents

ID: 241546.0, Fritz-Haber-Institut / Molecular Physics
Isotope-induced partial localization of core electrons in the homonuclear molecule N₂
Authors:Rolles, Daniel; Braune, Markus; Cvejanovic, Slobodan; Geßner, Oliver; Hentges, Rainer; Korica, Sanja; Langer, Burkhard; Lischke, Toralf; Prümper, Georg; Reinköster, Axel; Viefhaus, Jens; Zimmermann, Björn; McKoy, Vincent; Becker, Uwe
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2005-09-29
Title of Journal:Nature
Start Page:711
End Page:715
Copyright:2005 Nature Publishing Group – partner of AGORA, HINARI, CrossRef and COUNTER
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:Because of inversion symmetry and particle exchange, all constituents of homonuclear diatomic molecules are in a quantum mechanically non-local coherent state; this includes the nuclei and deep-lying core electrons. Hence, the molecular photoemission can be regarded as a natural double-slit experiment: coherent electron emission originates from two identical sites, and should give rise to characteristic interference patterns. However, the quantum coherence is obscured if the two possible symmetry states of the electronic wavefunction ('gerade' and 'ungerade') are degenerate; the sum of the two exactly resembles the distinguishable, incoherent emission from two localized core sites. Here we observe the coherence of core electrons in N₂ through a direct measurement of the interference exhibited in their emission. We also explore the gradual transition to a symmetry-broken system of localized electrons by comparing different isotope-substituted species—a phenomenon analogous to the acquisition of partial 'which-way' information in macroscopic double-slit experiments.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Gerard Meijer
Affiliations:Fritz-Haber-Institut/Molecular Physics
External Affiliations:Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie, 12489 Berlin, Germany;
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA;
Medical Faculty, Physics Department, University of Rijeka, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia; Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6, Canada; Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan; Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme, 01187 Dresden, Germany
Identifiers:URL: [only for subscriber]
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