Rotation of coupled cold molecules in the presence of a many-body environment

By: Li, Xiang
Material type: TextTextPublisher: IST Austria 2020Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Abstract
Acknowledgments
About the Author
List of Publications
List of Figures
1 Introduction
2 The basic Fröhlich polaron theory
3 The angulon Hamiltonian
4 Variational approaches to quantum impurities
5 Angular self-localization of impurities rotating in a bosonic bath
6 Intermolecular forces and correlations mediated by a phonon bath
7 Conclusions
Bibliography
Summary: The oft-quoted dictum by Arthur Schawlow: ``A diatomic molecule has one atom too many'' has been disavowed. Inspired by the possibility to experimentally manipulate and enhance chemical reactivity in helium nanodroplets, we investigate the rotation of coupled cold molecules in the presence of a many-body environment. In this thesis, we introduce new variational approaches to quantum impurities and apply them to the Fröhlich polaron - a quasiparticle formed out of an electron (or other point-like impurity) in a polar medium, and to the angulon - a quasiparticle formed out of a rotating molecule in a bosonic bath. With this theoretical toolbox, we reveal the self-localization transition for the angulon quasiparticle. We show that, unlike for polarons, self-localization of angulons occurs at finite impurity-bath coupling already at the mean-field level. The transition is accompanied by the spherical-symmetry breaking of the angulon ground state and a discontinuity in the first derivative of the ground-state energy. Moreover, the type of symmetry breaking is dictated by the symmetry of the microscopic impurity-bath interaction, which leads to a number of distinct self-localized states. For the system containing multiple impurities, by analogy with the bipolaron, we introduce the biangulon quasiparticle describing two rotating molecules that align with respect to each other due to the effective attractive interaction mediated by the excitations of the bath. We study this system from the strong-coupling regime to the weak molecule-bath interaction regime. We show that the molecules tend to have a strong alignment in the ground state, the biangulon shows shifted angulon instabilities and an additional spectral instability, where resonant angular momentum transfer between the molecules and the bath takes place. Finally, we introduce a diagonalization scheme that allows us to describe the transition from two separated angulons to a biangulon as a function of the distance between the two molecules.
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Thesis

Abstract

Acknowledgments

About the Author

List of Publications

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 The basic Fröhlich polaron theory

3 The angulon Hamiltonian

4 Variational approaches to quantum impurities

5 Angular self-localization of impurities rotating in a bosonic bath

6 Intermolecular forces and correlations mediated by a phonon bath

7 Conclusions

Bibliography

The oft-quoted dictum by Arthur Schawlow: ``A diatomic molecule has one atom too many'' has been disavowed. Inspired by the possibility to experimentally manipulate and enhance chemical reactivity in helium nanodroplets, we investigate the rotation of coupled cold molecules in the presence of a many-body environment. In this thesis, we introduce new variational approaches to quantum impurities and apply them to the Fröhlich polaron - a quasiparticle formed out of an electron (or other point-like impurity) in a polar medium, and to the angulon - a quasiparticle formed out of a rotating molecule in a bosonic bath. With this theoretical toolbox, we reveal the self-localization transition for the angulon quasiparticle. We show that, unlike for polarons, self-localization of angulons occurs at finite impurity-bath coupling already at the mean-field level. The transition is accompanied by the spherical-symmetry breaking of the angulon ground state and a discontinuity in the first derivative of the ground-state energy. Moreover, the type of symmetry breaking is dictated by the symmetry of the microscopic impurity-bath interaction, which leads to a number of distinct self-localized states. For the system containing multiple impurities, by analogy with the bipolaron, we introduce the biangulon quasiparticle describing two rotating molecules that align with respect to each other due to the effective attractive interaction mediated by the excitations of the bath. We study this system from the strong-coupling regime to the weak molecule-bath interaction regime. We show that the molecules tend to have a strong alignment in the ground state, the biangulon shows shifted angulon instabilities and an additional spectral instability, where resonant angular momentum transfer between the molecules and the bath takes place. Finally, we introduce a diagonalization scheme that allows us to describe the transition from two separated angulons to a biangulon as a function of the distance between the two molecules.

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