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Chemistry LibreTexts

15: Lasers, Laser Spectroscopy, and Photochemistry

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  • Sorry, but all current instructors at UCD use the commercial textbook for this course. 

    Photochemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the chemical effects of light. Generally, this term is used to describe a chemical reaction caused by absorption of ultraviolet (wavelength from 100 to 400 nm), visible light (400 – 750 nm) or infrared radiation (750 – 2500 nm). Photochemical reactions are valuable in organic and inorganic chemistry because they proceed differently than thermal reactions. Many thermal reactions have a photochemical counterpart. Photochemical paths offer an advantage over thermal methods of forming thermodynamically disfavored products, thereby overcoming large activation barriers in a short period of time, and allowing reactions otherwise inaccessible by thermal processes. Everyday examples include photosynthesis, the degradation of plastics or the formation of vitamin D with sunlight.

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