X-ray photoelectron spectra of the N2 molecule are studied both experimentally and theoretically in the extended energy region up to 1 keV. The ratio of the photoionization cross sections for the gerade and ungerade core levels displays a modulation in the high energy region caused by the two-center interference, as predicted by Cohen and Fano (CF) in 1966. The physical background of this CF effect is the same as in Young's double-slit experiment. We have found that the interference pattern deviates significantly from the CF prediction. The origin of such a breakdown of the CF formula is the scattering of the photoelectron inside the molecule and the momentum transfer from the emitted fast photoelectron to the nuclei. Usually the recoil effect is small. We show that the electron recoil strongly affects the two-center interference pattern. Both stationary and dynamical aspects of the recoil effect shed light on the role of the momentum exchange in the two-center interference.
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