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Discovery of ‘knock-on chemistry’ opens new frontier in reaction dynamics

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“Now, with the ability to observe the reagents and the products at the molecular level, one can see precisely how the reagents approach and subsequently how the products separate,” Polanyi says. “But this runs contrary to the classic 90-year old statistical model. If the energy and momentum were randomized in the hot transition state, the products would not exhibit a clear memory of the direction of approach of the reagents. Energy-randomization would work to erase that memory.”

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