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jcd
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Report Thread starter 15 years ago
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Why are third order reactions unusual?
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oxymoron
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Report 15 years ago
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well, third order reactions can happen - but it require a complex mechanism with several steps.

This is because trimolecular steps really don't occur as it would require 3 molecules to colide in the correct orientation with the correct amount of energy to allow the reaction to occur. The chance of this happening is very small.

So basically a third order reaction has to have three molecules of reactant occuring in unimolecular or bimolecular steps up to and including the rate determining step.
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