In this project, funded by the Experimental Physical Chemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, Heaven will conduct research in the field of elementary reaction dynamics to investigate how long-range interaction forces between reactants influence the reaction probability and the partitioning of the energy between the products. High-resolution spectroscopy will be used to map out the long-range potentials for select reaction pairs and associated van der Waals complexes. The project includes a study of the effects of reactant orientation on the unimolecular decay dynamics and the solvation of open-shell species.
This project deals with fundamental issues of molecular reaction dynamics, i.e., how molecules react with one another in time and as function of separation. Experiments will be performed on select prototype systems to obtain data that will assist in the development of advanced theoretical models that describe reaction chemistry. The work is done in collaboration with theorists. Students and postdoctoral research associates participate in this research and thereby obtain knowledge and skills that prepare them for employment in industry, government laboratories or academia.