Orbits in the H2O molecule

K. Efstathiou and G. Contopoulos
Chaos, 11, pp. 327-334, 2001
DOI: 10.1063/1.1356068


We study the forms of the orbits in a symmetric configuration of a realistic model of the H2O molecule with particular emphasis on the periodic orbits. We use an appropriate Poincaré surface of section (PSS) and study the distribution of the orbits on this PSS for various energies. We find both ordered and chaotic orbits. The proportion of ordered orbits is almost 100% for small energies, but decreases abruptly beyond a critical energy. When the energy exceeds the escape energy there are still nonescaping orbits around stable periodic orbits. We study in detail the forms of the various periodic orbits, and their connections, by providing appropriate stability and bifurcation diagrams.