Royal Society Publishing

The Theory of Scattering by a Rigid Rotator

A. M. Arthurs, A. Dalgarno


A theory of scattering by a rigid rotator in which the coupling between the different energy levels of the rotator is taken into account is formulated and explicit expressions, which do not depend upon the magnetic quantum numbers, are obtained for various elastic and inelastic cross-sections. Several approximations are described, particular attention being paid to the scattering of heavy particles for which it is shown that at low temperatures the orientation-dependent part of the interaction may be more important than the spherically symmetric part. The scattering of low-energy electrons is also investigated and some representative equations are integrated numerically to illustrate the effect of the orientation dependence.