The Study of Fast Reactions in Solution

  • E. F. Caldin
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (ASIC, volume 50)


The study of reaction kinetics is our main way of investigating reaction mechanisms and the energetics of the actual path. Its data are measurements on the kinetic effects of systematically varying the concentration, temperature, pressure, solvent, and (where possible) the substituents and isotopic composition of the reactants. Accurate determinations of rate constants are therefore fundamental. Many familiar reactions, however, are too fast to be followed by conventional means, such as mixing the reactant solutions by hand and following the reaction by an ordinary spectrophotometer. Such reactions used to be written off as ‘instantaneous’ and their kinetics could not be investigated. This was unfortunate, since fast reactions (i.e. those with half-lives less than a few seconds) have widely varying rate constants, distributed over a range covering as many powers of ten as the range of conventional rates. The development of special methods has now made possible the study of even the fastest reactions.


Fast Reaction Fluorescence Quenching Joule Heating Flash Photolysis Pulse Radiolysis 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. F. Caldin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Kent at CanterburyUK

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