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The muonic He atom and a preliminary study of the He-4 mu + H-2 reaction

TitleThe muonic He atom and a preliminary study of the He-4 mu + H-2 reaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsArseneau, DJ, Fleming, DG, Sukhorukov, O, Brewer, JH, Garrett, BC, Truhlar, DG
JournalPhysica B-Condensed Matter
Date PublishedApr
Type of ArticleProceedings Paper
ISBN Number0921-4526
Keywordseffects, He mu atom, Heavy H-atom, HELIUM ATOM, HYDROGEN, INTERVAL, Kinetic isotope, Reaction rate, Variational TST

The muonic atom He-4 mu has the composition alpha(++)mu(-)e(-), and is formed by stopping negative muons in He doped with a small amount of NH3 (or Xe). It may be regarded as a unique heavy H-atom isotope with a mass of 4.1 amu. As such, the study of its chemical reaction rates and comparison with those of the well-known light Mu atom (0.113 amu) allows unprecedented tests of kinetic isotope effects over a range of 36 in mass. As a first example, and one which is of most fundamental interest, we have begun kinetics studies of the He mu + H-2 -> He mu H + H reaction in the gas phase. The first measurements, at 295 K, give a rate constant of k(He mu) = 4.1 +/- 0.7 X 10(-16) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1). in comparison, variational transition state calculations give a value of 2.46 x 10(-6) cm(3) molec(-1) s-1, somewhat below the measurement, despite the large error bar, raising the possibility that the calculations, on an essentially exact potential energy surface, have underestimated the amount of quantum tunneling involved, even for this heavy H-atom isotope. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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