Testing Photoreactions Over Time

Photochemical reaction are present in all but the most reclusive cave or deep sea creatures. Of course industries are always looking for improved chemical pathways with fewer steps or a new catalyst to cut expenses. This is why understanding and manipulating photochemical reactions have become so important in recent years. In order to fully understand the mechanism for what occurs in a photochemical reaction a method has been designed that can measure the kinetics and electron excitations within atoms as they react with great clarity. This method has been called muon spectroscopy and so unsurpringly uses muons, the heavier version of electrons, that have been excited and given energy by a laser, for the imaging technique. This process was able to lay out the energy changes in electrons both specially based on location and over time. It was shown to be detailed enough to map energy changes down to a single carbon atom. By then using a carbon based chemical on a photochemical or photophysical reaction it was shown that the reactivity of this carbon changed when light was used to excite it. This process shows great potential for developing into an effective and sensitive technique for analysing reactions occuring in photochemistry and hopefully improving our understanding of particle interactions overall.

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