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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Apr 10;84(15):3215-9.

How to study the elusive efimov state of the 4He3 molecule through a new atom-optical state-selection technique

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Institut fur Theoretische Physik, Universitat Gottingen, Bunsenstrasse 9, 37073 Gottingen, Germany.


Excited states and excitation energies of weakly bound systems, e.g., atomic few-body systems and clusters, are difficult to study experimentally. For this purpose we propose a new and very general atom-optical method which is based on inelastic diffraction from transmission gratings. The technique is applicable to the recently found helium trimer molecule 4He3, allowing for the first time an investigation of the possible existence of an excited trimer state and determination of its excitation energy. This would be of fundamental importance for the famous Efimov effect.

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