A new view of microscopic interactions

When two cars collide at an intersection — from opposite directions — the impact is much different than when two cars — traveling in the same direction — ‘bump’ into each other. In the laboratory, similar types of collisions can be made to occur between molecules to study chemistry at very low temperatures, or ‘cold collisions.’ A team of scientists led by Arthur Suits at the University of Missouri has developed a new experimental approach to study chemistry using these cold ‘same direction’ molecular collisions.