Turro, Nicholas J. Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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A molecule exists in this electronic state when its total spin angular momentum quantum number S is equal to one. The triplet state is an important intermediate of organic chemistry. In addition to the wide range of triplet molecules available through photochemical excitation techniques, numerous molecules exist in stable triplet ground states, for example, oxygen molecules. Theoretical calculations, furthermore, make predictions concerning the spin multiplicities of the ground states of many prototype organic molecules such as cyclobutadiene, trimethylene methane, and methylene, and indicate that they will be triplets. See also: Atomic structure and spectra; Reactive intermediates; Spin (quantum mechanics)
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