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Theories of Molecular Reaction DynamicsThe Microscopic Foundation of Chemical Kinetics$
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Niels E. Henriksen and Flemming Y. Hansen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203864.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Theories of Molecular Reaction Dynamics

Niels E. Henriksen

Flemming Y. Hansen

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter considers first the relation between molecular reaction dynamics and the major branches of physical chemistry. The concept of elementary chemical reactions at the quantized state-to-state level is discussed. The theoretical description of these reactions based on the time-dependent Schrödinger equation and the Born-Oppenheimer approximation is introduced and the resulting time-dependent Schrödinger equation describing the nuclear dynamics is discussed. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of matter at thermal equilibrium, focusing at the Boltzmann distribution. Thus, the Boltzmann distribution for vibrational, rotational, and translational degrees of freedom is discussed and illustrated.

Keywords:   elementary reactions, state-to-state dynamics, Born-Oppenheimer approximation, time-dependent Schrödinger equation, Boltzmann distribution

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