Beyond the Rayleigh instability limit for multicharged finite systems: From fission to Coulomb explosion

Isidore Last, Yaakov Levy, Joshua Jortner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

We address the stability of multicharged finite systems driven by Coulomb forces beyond the Rayleigh instability limit. Our exploration of the nuclear dynamics of heavily charged Morse clusters enabled us to vary the range of the pair potential and of the fissibility parameter, which results in distinct fragmentation patterns and in the angular distributions of the fragments. The Rayleigh instability limit separates between nearly binary (or tertiary) spatially unisotropic fission and spatially isotropic Coulomb explosion into a large number of small, ionic fragments. Implications are addressed for a broad spectrum of dynamics in chemical physics, radiation physics of ultracold gases, and biophysics, involving the fission of clusters and droplets, the realization of Coulomb explosion of molecular clusters, the isotropic expansion of optical molasses, and the Coulomb instability of "isolated" proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9107-9112
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume99
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Jul 2002

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