Chaotic Transition States on the Monkey Saddle

CDSNS Colloquium
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 11:15
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
skiles 005
Loughborough University

Transition State Theory describes how a reactive system crosses an energy barrier that is marked by a saddle point of the potential energy. The transition from the reactant to the product side of the barrier is regulated by a system of invariant manifolds that separate trajectories with qualitatively different behaviour. 
The situation becomes more complex if there are more than two reaction channels, or possible outcomes of the reaction. Indeed, the monkey saddle potential, with three channels, is known to exhibit chaotic dynamics at any energy. We investigate the boundaries between initial conditions with different outcomes in an attempt to obtain a qualitative and quantitative description of the relevant invariant structures.