Local angular momentum–local impact parameter analysis: A new tool for understanding structure in the angular distributions of chemical reactions
A local angular momentum (LAM) and a local impact parameter (LIP) is defined for a state-to-state reaction, whose scattering amplitude can be expanded in a Legendre partial wave series. A nearside–farside decomposition is incorporated into the LAM-LIP theory, which is also extended to resummed partial wave series. The input to a LAM-LIP analysis consists of a set of accurate, or approximate, quantum scattering matrix elements. Application is made to the benchmark F + H2(vi = 0, ji = 0, mi = 0) → FH(vf = 3, jf = 3, mf = 0) + H reaction, where vi, ji, mi and vf, jf, mf are initial and final vibrational, rotational and helicity quantum numbers respectively. It is demonstrated that a LAM-LIP analysis of structure in the angular scattering provides valuable information on the dynamics of chemical reactions.