Maxwellianization of positrons cooling in CF4 and N2 gases

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Positron cooling in CF4 and N2 gases via inelastic vibrational and rotational (de)excitations is simulated, importantly including elastic positron-positron collisions. For CF4, it is shown that rotational (de)excitations play no role on the experimental timescale, and further, that in the absence of positron-positron collisions, cooling via excitation of the dipole-active ν3 and ν4 modes alone would lead to a non-Maxwellian positron momentum distribution, in contrast to the observations of experiment. It is shown that the observed Maxwellianization of the distribution may be effected by positron-positron collisions and/or cooling involving the combination of the dipole-inactive ν1 mode with the dipole-active modes. For N2, rotational excitations alone are sufficient to Maxwellianize the distribution (vibrational effects are negligible).

Original languageEnglish
Article number033001
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023


  • Positron
  • cooling
  • collisions
  • atomic
  • molecular
  • maxwellianization


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