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Dimension of Phase Space

  1. Dec 23, 2015 #1
    Dimension of Phase Space of a rigid diatomic molecule is 10. Shouldn't it be 12?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is no rotation possible along the internuclear axis. That removes one angle from the 3 Euler angles needed to describe the orientation of the molecule, and hence also removes an angular momentum component. That leaves 4 angular degrees of freedom, plus 3 coordinates and 3 momenta for the center of mass motion.
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