We present a mechanism of global reaction coordinate switching, namely, a phenomenon in which the reaction coordinate dynamically switches to another coordinate as the total energy of the system increases. The mechanism is based on global changes in the underlying phase space geometry caused by a switching of dominant unstable modes from the original reactive mode to another nonreactive mode in systems with more than 2 degrees of freedom. We demonstrate an experimental observability to detect a reaction coordinate switching in an ionization reaction of a hydrogen atom in crossed electric and magnetic fields. For this reaction, the reaction coordinate is a coordinate along which electrons escape and its switching changes the escaping direction from the direction of the electric field to that of the magnetic field and, thus, the switching can be detected experimentally by measuring the angle-resolved momentum distribution of escaping electrons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)