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Chemistry LibreTexts

16: Quantum Relaxation Processes

  • Page ID
    • 16.1: Vibrational Relaxation
      We want to address how excess vibrational energy undergoes irreversible energy relaxation as a result of interactions with other intra- and intermolecular degrees of freedom. Why is this process important? It is the fundamental process by which nonequilibrium states thermalize. This plays a particularly important role in chemical reactions, where efficient vibrational relaxation of an activated species is important to stabilizing the product and not allowing re-crossing to the reactant well.
    • 16.2: A Density Matrix Description of Quantum Relaxation
      Here we will more generally formulate a quantum mechanical picture of coherent and incoherent relaxation processes that occur as the result of interaction between a prepared system and its environment. This description will apply to the case where we separate the degrees of freedom in our problem into a system and a bath that interact. We have limited information about the bath degrees of freedom.

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