Thursday, 23 April 2009

World first for strange molecule

A molecule that until now existed only in theory has finally been made. Known as a Rydberg molecule, it is formed through an elusive and extremely weak chemical bond between two atoms. The new type of bonding, reported in Nature, occurs because one of the two atoms in the molecule has an electron very far from its nucleus or centre.

It reinforces fundamental quantum theories, developed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, about how electrons behave and interact. The Rydberg molecules in question were formed from two atoms of rubidium - one a Rydberg atom, and one a "normal" atom.

Full details @