The suitability of the NO molecule for laser detection and the relatively inert nature of the Ag(111) surface have resulted in extensive studies of the state-to-state inelastic scattering dynamics of this system. This work is critically reviewed, beginning with experiments by McClelland et al and by Kleyn et al, who reported the rotational distributions of the scattered molecules, the latter group making the first observation of rotational rainbows in gas-surface scattering. More recently, velocity distributions have been determined for individual rotational states of molecules scattered into specific directions, allowing a full accounting of the disposal of initial kinetic energy and momentum of molecules incident on the surface. These results, combined with trajectory studies using simple and realistic potentials have led to a detailed understanding of the dynamics of rotational excitation and of energy transfer to photons. © 1988.