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chain branching

When in a chain reaction there is a net increase in the number of chain carriers there is said to be chain branching. A simple example of a chain-propagating reaction leading to chain branching is:
in which there is one chain carrier (an oxygen atom) on the left and two chain carriers (a hydrogen atom and a hydroxyl radical) on the right.
PAC, 1996, 68, 149 (A glossary of terms used in chemical kinetics, including reaction dynamics (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 156
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
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