Selective Λ-doublet population of OH in inelastic collisions with H2: A possible pump mechanism for the 2Pi 1/2 astronomical OH maser
It is pointed out that inelastic and reactive collisions of OH play an important role in combustion and atmospheric chemistry. This investigation demonstrates the importance of these collisions in astrophysics. Attention is given to the generation of a very intense, internally cold OH radical beam which is used in a cross beam experiment to study the inelastic collisions of OH with H2. It is shown that the OH + H2 collisions could explain the pump mechanism of the astronomical OH-maser in the OH (2 Pi /1/2/, j = 1/2) state. The population in the Lambda-doublet substates is considered in addition to the rotational distributions.