Chemical Kinetics Under Test

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6016, pp. 411-412
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201509

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


The dependence of reaction rates on the isotopic identity of the reactants and products, called the “kinetic isotope effect” (13), is a manifestation of the role quantum zero-point energy plays in chemical kinetics and is a consequence of the Born-Oppenheimer (BO) separation of electronic and nuclear motion in molecules (4, 5). On page 448 of this issue, Fleming et al. (6) use muon chemistry to probe the range of nuclear masses over which this approximation is valid for the chemical reaction H + H2 → H2 + H (7).