Many-Particle Spectroscopy of Atoms, Molecules, Clusters, and Surfaces

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Since the early days of modem physics spectroscopic techniques have been employed as a powerful tool to assess existing theoretical models and to uncover novel phenomena that promote the development of new concepts. Conventionally, the system to be probed is prepared in a well-defined state. Upon a controlled perturbation one measures then the spectrum of a single particle (electron, photon, etc.) emitted from the probe. The analysis of this single particle spectrum yields a wealth of important information on the properties of the system, such as optical and magnetic behaviour. Therefore, such analysis is nowadays a standard tool to investigate and characterize a variety of materials. However, it was clear at a very early stage that real physical compounds consist of many coupled particles that may be excited simultaneously in response to an external perturbation. Yet, the simultaneous (coincident) detection of two or more excited species proved to be a serious technical obstacle, in particular for extended electronic systems such as surfaces. In recent years, however, coincidence techniques have progressed so far as to image the multi-particle excitation spectrum in an impressive detail. Correspondingly, many-body theoretical concepts have been put forward to interpret the experimental findings and to direct future experimental research. This book gives a snapshot of the present status of multi-particle coincidence studies both from a theoretical and an experimental point of view. It also includes selected topical review articles that highlight the achievements and the power of coincident techniques.