Research CommentariesRARE GAS CLUSTERS

Explosions and Dissociations

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Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 693-694
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.693

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Clusters of many molecules or atoms provide a link between matter at the atom level and bulk solids. In his Research Commentary, Hutchinson discusses recent work published in Physical Review Letters in which lasers were used to deposit energy into rare gas clusters. At some point, the clusters explode, and careful measurement of the kinetic energy and charge state of the cluster offers insight into exactly how the explosion takes place.