Three topics illustrate some central physics of processes produced by UV-laser and low-energy electron stimulation. First, a multi-dimensional ground-state potential energy surface (PES) for NH3:Pd(111), computed using ab initio local-density functional theory, allows dramatically different dynamics depending on poorly-known excited-state forces. We use quantum-resolved experimental data to argue that stimulated desorption is dominated by a direct path off the surface, following placement of the wavepacket on a molecule-surface hard wall accessed by internal molecular motion. This illustrates the questionable relevance of 1D models for understanding molecule-surface dynamics. Second, we study the image-charge model of excited state forces experienced by ions produced, for example, by hot carrier attachment. Ab initio results show that this model totally fails at molecule-surface distances typical of chemisorption. Finally, we present a purely-electronic adiabatic model of excited state PESs and use it to argue that, if significant covalent interactions occur between an adsorbate and a surface, hot carrier attachment does not simply produce singly- charged ions. Instead, attachment creates excitation of the molecule-surface bond occur and, in some cases, may result in multiply-charged ions.