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- Author: Stephen Withers
- Responsible Curator: Spencer Williams
An intermediate in a reaction is a species formed that has a real lifetime, best defined as being greater than the time for a bond vibration (approx 10-14 sec, ie a few femtoseconds). This will correspond to a minimum in the reaction coordinate diagram located between the reactant and product. Depending on their lifetimes and the tools available, intermediates can sometimes be trapped and observed by physical and chemical techniques.