Crossed-molecular-beam and laser techniques have enabled experimentalists to measure the state-resolved differential cross sections of elementary chemical reactions. This article reviews recent progress in this area. Particular emphasis is placed on some intriguing physical phenomena associated with a few benchmark reactions and how these measurements help in answering fundamental questions about reaction dynamics. We examine specifically the geometric phase effects in the reaction H + D, the dynamical resonance phenomenon in F + HD, the unusually large spin-orbit reactivity in Cl(2) + H, the insertion reaction O(1) + H, and the mode-specific reactivity in Cl + CH(ν). The give-and-take between experiment and theory in unraveling the physical picture of the dynamics is illustrated throughout this review.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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