The inside of an atom or a molecule is a mix of overlapping electron orbitals. New experiments allowed researchers to peer into that complex environment and learn the starting location for an electron that was emitted by a nitrogen molecule, N2, during ionization . The researchers used a common laser-based technique in which the electron quantum mechanically interferes with itself on its way out of the molecule. By detecting a small shift in the interference pattern, the team showed that the electron started 95 picometers away from the center of the molecule. The results could help researchers understand the migration of charge inside molecules during chemical reactions.
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