We report on the application of two experimental techniques developed in the field of atomic and molecular physics to investigate the dynamics of catalytic processes on a molecular scale in (model) catalysts. With these techniques, time-resolved pump-probe laser spectroscopy and molecular beam scattering, better insights into the fundamental processes relevant to catalysis can be obtained. With the first technique, time-resolved (picosecond) non-linear infrared spectroscopy, zeolite catalysts and zeolite-adsorbate interactions are investigated. Microscopic structural information on the bare catalyst, as well as insights into the dynamics of interaction processes between catalyst and reactant (viz. zeolite and adsorbate) on a molecular scale are obtained. With the second technique, a molecular beam experiment, we obtain dynamical information on the interaction between catalytic metal surfaces and molecules; transient surface species and steric effects are observed.