PerspectiveChemistry

Chemical Reactions Involving Quantum Tunneling

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Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 833-834
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080715

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Summary

Hydrogen tunneling plays an important role in many chemical and enzymatic reactions. Less common is the tunneling of heavier atoms such as oxygen and carbon. In his Perspective, McMahon highlights the report by Zuev et al ., who have identified a reaction in which carbon tunneling increases the reaction rate by over a hundred orders of magnitude. The authors observe close agreement between theory and experiment in the study, yielding important new insights into heavy-atom tunneling.