What happens to a water molecule if it is hit by a high energy electron or photon?
The Attempt at a Solution
My knowledge of chemistry is very limited, and my guess is that it would be ionized:
e + H_2 O \rightarrow H^+ + OH + 2e
Here, a high energy electron hits the molecule and releases 1 electron from the H atom, making it a cation. Two electrons appear in the products: 1 from the H along with the original electron.
If something like this were possible, then could a "hydroxide cation" be formed?
e + H_2 O \rightarrow H + OH^+ + 2e
And if a photon strikes the molecule, how about
\gamma + H_2 O \rightarrow H_2 + O
(Can water absorb photons?)
I am trying to understand how a covalently-bonded molecule "breaks up" when bombarded with cosmic rays, and would like to know if any of these examples (which contain such a molecule) are plausible. Thanks for your help!