- The Minton Group is known for its research on reaction dynamics involving high-energy (hyperthermal) collisions. Molecular beam scattering techniques are used to study gas-phase and gas-surface collision dynamics. A new “Table-Top Shock Tunnel” is being constructed to enable studies of shock layer chemistry, in order to generate data for models of hypersonic flow environments. Thermal decomposition of heat-shield materials is studied with in situ detection of volatile pyrolysis products. Collaborations with theoreticians and modelers significantly augment the understanding of collision dynamics that are revealed in the experiments. The reactive and non-reactive systems under current study have been chosen for their relevance to gas-phase and gas-surface interactions in hypersonic flows, materials durability on satellites in low Earth orbit, satellite drag, and hypervelocity sampling of gases during flyby missions through planetary atmospheres.