Abstract: Synchronization abounds in nature—why is it so hard to synchronize quantum systems? I will discuss this general question and its relationship to quantum coherence and exciton delocalization. I will then report new experiments that show how a molecular exciton state can launch two a superposition of two chemical reactions. Specifically, we study femtosecond proton transfer in a symmetric molecule with two identical reactant sites that are spatially apart. With the reaction launched from a superposition of two local basis states, we hypothesize that the motions of the electrons and nuclei will ensue in lock-step as a superposition of probability amplitudes until decoherence collapses the system to a product. We see evidence for this, and conclude that this chemical system is a good test-bed to study the transition from quantum to classical.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - 3:30pm