Multidimensional Snapshots of Chemical Dynamics

Science  10 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5690, pp. 1575-1577
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103195

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Over the past decade, more and more reactions have been probed directly at the ultrafast time scales at which they occur. However, technical constraints meant that these studies were usually limited to a one-dimensional reaction coordinate. In their Perspective, Stolow and Jonas draw attention to a new generation of experiments, which provide insights into the multidimensional evolution of chemical reactions. These experiments have, for example, shed light on the structural evolution of peptides as they fold, and have shown how the electron cloud rearranges on the molecular frame as an atom breaks its bond and leaves the parent molecule.