Information theory analysis of angular momentum disposal in chemical reactions

D. A. Case, D. R. Herschbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Several vector properties of single collisions between gas-phase molecules can now be measured by molecular beam techniques. Such properties consist of correlations among the directions of relative velocity vectors and angular momentum vectors of the reactant and product molecules. Here we examine the utility of information theory for analysis of these multidimensional correlations. Vector stributions generated from impulsive and statistical models for an A + BC→AB + C atom exchange reaction are analyzed, with particular emphasis on the triple angle correlation relating the initial and final velocity vectors to the product rotational momentum. For the impulsive model, the entropy deficiencies for the angular degrees of freedom are found to be larger than those for the energy distributions and the largest contribution comes from the triple angle correlation. However, it is argued that information theory cannot assess the comparative value of different kinds of data. Also discussed are the effects of approximate dynamical constraints on multidimensional entropy deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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