A quantum kinetic theory of molecule formation is presented which includes three-body recombination and radiative association for a thermodynamically closed system which may or may not exchange energy with its surrounding at a constant temperature. The theory uses a Sturmian representation of a two-body continuum to achieve a steady-state solution of a governing master equation which is self-consistent in the sense that detailed balance between all bound and unbound states is rigorously enforced. The role of quasibound states in catalyzing the molecule formation is analyzed in complete detail. The theory is used to make three predictions which differ from conventional kinetic models. These predictions suggest significant modifications may be needed to phenomenological rate constants which are currently in wide use. Implications for models of low and high density systems are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry