molecular beam

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A beam of atoms, ions, or molecules at low pressure, in which all the particles are travelling in the same direction and there are few collisions between them. They are formed by allowing a gas or vapour to pass through an aperture into an enclosure, which acts as a collimator by containing several additional apertures and vacuum pumps to remove any particles that do not pass through the apertures. Molecular beams are used in studies of surfaces and chemical reactions and in spectroscopy.

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.

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