The aim of this Workshop on "Selectivity in Chemical Reactions" was to examine the specific preferences exhibited by simple chemical reactions with regards to reagents having particular energy states, symmetries, alignment and orientation and the resulting formation of certain products with their corresponding energies, states, alignment and polarisation. Such problems come close to the ultimate goal of reaction dynamics of being able to determine experimentally and theoretically state-to-state cross sections and stereochemical effects under well defined and characterised conditions. There are many examples of highly selective and specific processes to be found in atmospheric and combustion chemistry and the production of population inversions amongst vibrational and electronic states lies at the heart of the development of chemical laser systems. Only when we can understand the fundamental processes that underlie the selectivity in the formation of products in a chemical reaction and the specific requirements of initial states of the reagents, can we expect to be able to develop the explanatory and predictive tools necessary to apply the subject to the development of new laser systems, efficient combustion schemes and specific methods of chemical synthesis, to the control of atmospheric pollution and to all problems in which it is necessary to direct the outcome of a chemical reaction in a specific way. The brief given to the Workshop was to critically review the field, to discuss the present limitations and difficulties and to identify new directions.
Author: J.C. Whitehead
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
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