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Two-pathway quantum mechanical interference was used to control the photoionization and photodissociation of a number of polyatomic molecules. The phase lag between different pairs of products obtained from acetone and dimethyl sulfide was altered by translating the focus of the laser beam along an axis normal to the molecular beam axis. This effect was derived quantitatively from the spatial Gouy phase of the laser beam. Details of the chemical reaction mechanisms were deduced from the channeldoi:10.1088/1367-2630/11/10/105048 fatcat:xf6mhnf7gjg73i23aqsd5s4t6u