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Reaction kinetics

Isotope effects feel the cold

Kinetic isotope effects are widely used to elucidate reaction mechanisms and are generally interpreted in terms of simple kinetic models. Measurements of this effect for the Penning ionization reaction between helium and dihydrogen highlight the need for a quantum description of chemical reaction rates when sub-kelvin temperatures are approached.

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Figure 1: Kinetic isotope effects at low temperature.


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Correspondence to Mark Brouard.

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Brouard, M. Isotope effects feel the cold. Nature Chem 6, 274–275 (2014).

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