Biological and Chemical Physics


We report a joint experimental and theoretical study that directly tests the quality of the potential energy surfaces used to calculate energy changing cross sections of water in collision with helium and molecular hydrogen, at conditions relevant for astrophysics. Fully state-to-state differential cross sections are measured for H2O-He and H2O-H2 collisions at 429 and 575 cm-1 collision energy, respectively. We compare these differential cross sections with theoretical ones for H2O+H2 derived from state-of-the-art potential energy surfaces [P. Valiron et al., J. Chem. Phys. 129, 134306 (2008)] and quantum scattering calculations. This detailed comparison forms a stringent test of the validity of astrophysics calculations for energy changing rates in water. The agreement between theory and experiment is striking for most of the state-to-state differential cross sections measured.

Original Citation

Yang, C.-H., Sarma, G., ter Meulen, J. J., Parker, D. H., McBane, G. C., Wiesenfeld, L., Faure, A., Scribano, Y., & Feautrier, N. (2010). Communication: Mapping water collisions for interstellar space conditions. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 133(13), 131103. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3475517