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Mechanism of collisional spin relaxation in 3sigma molecules.

  • Author(s): Campbell, Wesley C
  • Tscherbul, Timur V
  • Lu, Hsin-I
  • Tsikata, Edem
  • Krems, Roman V
  • Doyle, John M
  • et al.
Abstract

We measure and theoretically determine the effect of molecular rotational splitting on Zeeman relaxation rates in collisions of cold 3Sigma molecules with helium atoms in a magnetic field. All four stable isotopomers of the imidogen (NH) molecule are magnetically trapped and studied in collisions with 3He and 4He. The 4He data support the predicted 1/B_{e};{2} dependence of the collision-induced Zeeman relaxation rate coefficient on the molecular rotational constant B_{e}. The measured 3He rate coefficients are much larger than the 4He coefficients, depend less strongly on B_{e}, and theoretical analysis indicates they are strongly affected by a shape resonance. The results demonstrate the influence of molecular structure on collisional energy transfer at low temperatures.

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