Shaped Laser Pulses as Reagents

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Science  24 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5606, pp. 525-527
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080683

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Tailored laser pulses can be used to guide chemical reactions, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In his Perspective, Rabitz highlights the report by Daniel et al., who have used a four-step procedure to achieve laser control of a chemical transformation and reveal the underlying mechanism. Such mechanistic insights should lay the foundations for systematic laser-driven manipulations of molecules.