Theoretical aspects of dynamical processes at metal surfaces are reviewed. Experimental challenges to theory are presented and progress toward meeting these challenges is appraised. Topics include adsorbate vibrational energy flow, inelastic molecule-surface scattering, adsorption, transient mobility, dissociation, desorption, photochemistry, and electron-induced chemistry at metal surfaces. Experimental examples cited illustrate the richness of dynamical phenomena to be understood and the necessity of developing multidimensional, beyond Born-Oppenheimer, formulations of adsorbate dynamics. Classical mechanical and quantum mechanical treatments of dynamics are contrasted. The importance of including phonon and electron-hole pair dissipation in theories of adsorbate dynamics is emphasized, and strategies for doing this in classical and quantum treatments are presented.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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