Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

December 1968


Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. Letters 21, 1789 (1968). Copyright © 1968 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


We have observed electrons scattered superelastically from nitrogen molecules vibrationally excited by quenching collisions with optically excited rubidium atoms. Analysis of the energy gained by the electrons shows that in more than 10% of the quenching collisions the highest energetically allowed vibrational state of N2, v=5, is populated. The relative superelastic cross section for collisions between molecules in this state and electrons is measured and compared with that predicted by detailed balance.

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