THE mechanism proposed by Warburg (Sitz. der preuss. Akad. der Wiss., 300; 1918) for the photochemical decomposition of hydrogen iodide, namely: , has been generally accepted for a long time but has not received experimental confirmation. Warburg obtained a quantum efficiency of two and showed thermodynamically that reaction (2) was the only secondary reaction possible. Reaction chains cannot be set up in view of the non-occurrence of the highly endothermic reaction, which thus interrupts the chain.
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LEWIS, B. Photochemical Decomposition of Hydrogen Iodide. Nature 119, 493 (1927). https://doi.org/10.1038/119493a0
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