Complex Collisions of Ultracold Molecules: A Toy Model

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We introduce a model to study the collisions of two ultracold diatomic molecules in one dimension interacting via pairwise potentials. We present results for this system and argue that it offers lessons for real molecular collisions in three dimensions. We analyze the distribution of the adiabatic potentials in the hyperspherical coordinate representation as well as the distribution of near-threshold four-body bound states, systematically studying the effects of molecular properties, such as interaction strength, interaction range, and atomic mass. It is found that the adiabatic potential's nearest-neighbor energy level distribution transitions from significant level repulsion characteristic of chaos (Brody distribution) to nonchaotic (Poisson distribution) as the two molecules are separated. For the near-threshold four-atom bound states, the case where all atoms have equal masses shows a Poissonian spacing distribution, while the unequal-mass system exhibits significant level repulsion characterized by a nonzero Brody parameter. We derive a semiclassical formula for the density of states and extract from it simple scaling laws with potential depth and range. We find good agreement between the semiclassical predictions for the density of states and the full quantum mechanical calculations.




American Physical Society

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Physical Review A