Volume 101, Number 4, February 2013
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Published online||01 March 2013|
Atmospheric water droplets can catalyse atom pair break-up via surface-induced resonance repulsion
1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology - SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden, EU
2 Department of Applied Mathematics, Australian National University - Canberra, Australia
3 Department of Physics, University of Oslo - P. O. Box 1048 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway
4 Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
5 Division of Theory and Modeling, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden, EU
Received: 7 November 2012
Accepted: 30 January 2013
We present the theory for a retarded resonance interaction between two identical atoms near a dielectric surface. In free space the resonance interaction between isotropically excited atom pairs is attractive at all atom-atom separations. We illustrate numerically how this interaction between oxygen, sulphur, hydrogen, or nitrogen atom pairs may turn repulsive near water droplets. The results provide evidence of a mechanism causing excited state atom pair breakage to occur in the atmosphere near water droplets.
PACS: 34.20.Cf – Interatomic potentials and forces / 42.50.Lc – Quantum fluctuations, quantum noise, and quantum jumps / 92.60.Jq – Water in the atmosphere
© EPLA, 2013
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