The chemical processes which govern combustion, cloud formation, and climate change are extremely complex. And it appears that some new research has shown that these reactions (in addition to others) are entirely more complex than we ever thought. Researchers from Columbia University, led by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Michael P. Burke, have discovered a fourth class of chemical reaction known as "chemically termolecular reactions." This involves the breaking and forming of chemical bonds between three molecules, when the collision of two molecules collides again, with a third. Their work was published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
This means a new kind of chemical reaction does in fact exist, one that may have a profound impact on our comprehensive understanding of chemical reactions. This marks a fundamental shift in the way that these types of reactions are viewed. Consequently, the extent of its implications are not fully known, but what's clear is that we may have a small revolution on our hands.