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Transition state in a chemical reaction

Updated on August 2, 2014

definition of transition state in a chemical reaction

In a chemical reaction transition state is the phenomenon that indicates the intermediate state between reactant to product. A chemical reaction is just like breaking down one bond and simultaneously forming of another bond. Bond breaking and bond forming happens altogather and simultaneously.

In simple view through the different transition state reactant progress to the final production of new compounds. The concepts of transition state is important in chemical reaction.

The structure of a transition state is seems like that one bond is started to breaking and other bond is forming. The atom that is about to releasing and the atom that is about to joining is in partially charged.


In transition state there found structural change in molecules. The unpaired electron are found in distribution. Just for example in a halogination reaction in transition state the free radical of chlorine is partially distributed into alkyl group and halogen.

Transition state and energy of activation

If we graph energy vs progration of product forming, the intermediate state between reactant and product is transition state. The top peaks of the transition state's energy and the energy of reactant state is energy of activation.

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