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The ortho : para ratio of H3+ in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23028153     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
In diffuse molecular clouds, the nuclear spin temperature of H(3)(+) (approx. 30 K) is much lower than the cloud kinetic temperature (approx. 70 K). To understand this temperature discrepancy, we have measured the ratio of the hop to exchange pathways (α) in the H(3)(+) + H(2) --> H(2) + H(3)(+) reaction (which interconverts ortho- and para-H(3)(+)) using high-resolution spectroscopy of the ν(2) fundamental band of H(3)(+) in a hydrogenic plasma. We find that α decreases from 1.6±0.1 at 350 K to its statistical value of 0.5±0.1 at 135 K. We use this result to model the steady-state chemistry of diffuse molecular clouds, finding good agreement with astronomical data provided the dissociative recombination rates of ortho- and para-H(3)(+) are equal and the identity branching fraction for the H(3)(+) + H(2) reaction is large. Our results highlight the need for further studies of the H(3)(+) + H(2) reaction as well as state-selective measurements of H(3)(+) dissociative recombination.
Kyle N Crabtree; Benjamin J McCall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences     Volume:  370     ISSN:  1364-503X     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-02     Completed Date:  2012-11-13     Revised Date:  2013-04-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101133385     Medline TA:  Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5055-65     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
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