Applications of nonlinear dynamics in atomic and molecular systems

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Choi, Ji Il
Uzer, Turgay
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In this thesis we investigate what modern nonlinear-dynamical methods can tell us about some longstanding problems in atomic physics. It is well-known that it is very difficult to prevent electronic wavepackets from spreading, and that is where we bring in coherent states. We evaluate two strategies for forming coherent states in atomic physics problems with large Coriolis interactions : One involves the use of the "Cranked Oscillator" model to construct nondispersive wavepackets. We show that it is possible to keep the wavepackets from spreading while manipulating them with dipole fields with arbitrary time profiles. The second strategy involves using additional external fields to create a stable outer minimum far from the core. Whenever this minimum approximates a harmonic well it has its own subset of near-harmonic eigenstates and nearly-coherent states can be constructed. As examples of this strategy we study two-particle ion pair systems in a applied homogeneous magnetic field, and a weakly bound heavy-ion pair (Hydrogen positive and negative ions), where the nonspreading wavepacket corresponds to the motion of the drifting electron-ion or heavy ion pair in relative coordinates. We look for a Horseshoe Construction in the dynamics of the ionization of a highly excited two-electron atom by an classical-mechanical investigation.
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