Date of this Version
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 117, 153002 (2016)
Observing the motion of the nuclear wave packets during a molecular reaction, in both space and time, is crucial for understanding and controlling the outcome of photoinduced chemical reactions. We have imaged the motion of a vibrational wave packet in isolated iodine molecules using ultrafast electron diffraction with relativistic electrons. The time-varying interatomic distance was measured with a precision 0.07 Å and temporal resolution of 230 fs full width at half maximum. The method is not only sensitive to the position but also the shape of the nuclear wave packet.