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Unit 12: Kinetics and Nuclear Chemistry—Rates of Reaction

Section 12: Conclusion

Understanding the factors that influence the rates of chemical reactions is critical to the progress of many other scientific fields. Controlling the rates of reaction is of paramount importance in industrial and biological systems. The concept of half-life that we explored in terms of kinetics extends to other areas of science as well, including nuclear decay. Over the past century, discoveries in radioactivity and nuclear physics have revolutionized widely disparate fields, from archeology (radiometric dating) to medicine (medical imaging and cancer treatment), from power generation (nuclear reactors) to geopolitics (atomic and hydrogen bombs).

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