Chaotic scattering in a molecular system
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We study the classical dynamics of bound state and scattering trajectories of the chlorine atom interacting with the HO molecule using a two-dimensional model in which the HO bond length is held fixed. The bound state system forms the HOCl molecule and at low energies is predominantly integrable. Below dissociation a number of bifurcations are observed, most notably a series of saddle-center bifurcations related to a 2:1 and at higher energies 3:1 resonance between bend and stretch motions. At energies above dissociation the classical phase space becomes dominated by a homoclinic tangle which induces a fractal distribution of singularities in all scattering functions. The structure of the homoclinic tangle is examined directly using Poincare surfaces of section as well as indirectly through its influence on the time delay of the scattered chlorine atom and the angular momentum of the scattered HO molecule.