Moffat, Anne Simon. "Controlling chemical reactions with laser light. (breaking specific chemical bonds)." Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1992. HighBeam Research. 20 Apr. 2014 <http://www.highbeam.com>.
Moffat, Anne Simon. "Controlling chemical reactions with laser light. (breaking specific chemical bonds)." Science. 1992. HighBeam Research. (April 20, 2014). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-12180705.html
Moffat, Anne Simon. "Controlling chemical reactions with laser light. (breaking specific chemical bonds)." Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1992. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-12180705.html
Recent advances in laser technology are giving chemists the ability to enhance the breaking of specific chemical bonds
EVER SINCE THE DAYS OF THE ALCHEMISTS, synthetic chemists have had a straightforward goal: increase the yield of the desired product in a chemical reaction, while minimizing the formation of unwanted byproducts. But while this goal may sound straightforward, chemists have generally had to rely on relatively crude means to accomplish it. For example, they tinker with external variables, adjusting the temperature or pressure, or they change the composition of the solvent in which the reaction is run. But they've not been able to go right to the heart of a reaction to bend it to their will--until now.
Within the past few months, thanks to recent progress in laser technology, three independent research teams have shown that they can influence the course of chemical reactions by using laser light as a source of energy to facilitate the breaking of specific chemical bonds. The research so far has been done only with simple model systems, and the researchers are not yet willing to speculate about any eventual practical applications. But says theoretical chemist David Tannor of Notre Dame University: The work not only "illustrates a very good interplay between theory and experiment, but it opens the potential for vast amounts of control of chemical reactions. …
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