University of Minnesota
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Kinetic isotope effects predicted correctly for a mass ratio of 36

The research of Department of Chemistry Regents Professor Donald Truhlar and Research Associate Steven Mielke—kinetic isotope effects predicted correctly for a mass ratio of 36—is generating a lot of interest in the scientific community. The paper was published in Science magazine, and news about it has been been published in Nature, Chemical & Engineering News, Chemistry World, and New Scientist. Professor Martyn Poliakoff from the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, England, also produced a YouTube video.

Truhlar and Mielke are part of a team of scientists who reported an exact solution of the Schrödinger equation for the rate constants of two isotopologs of the H + H2 reaction. With a great deal of difficulty, the experimental collaborators at the University of British Columbia created forms of hydrogen, differing by a mass ratio of 36, and measured rate constants for chemical reactions of those atoms. The Minnesota scientists and their collaborators at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Northwestern University performed rate constant calculations by accurate quantum mechanics and by variational transition state theory to compare with these measurements.

For links to the original article and the news stories, go to Regents Professor Truhlar's website.