A simple theory of gas-phase termolecular atomic recombination kinetics is presented which treats the bound-complex (BC) mechanism in a fashion which parallels the Roberts, Bernstein, and Curtiss resonance theory of the energy-transfer (ET) mechanism. The ET rate constant has a low temperature maximum, but the BC rate constant does not. The contributions of the two mechanisms to the low-temperature recombination of hydrogen atoms, with He, Ar, and H2 as third bodies, are estimated and compared. The presence (absence) of a low-temperature maximum in the observable total rate constant is determined by absence (presence) of bound vibrational levels of the hydrogen-third body van der Waals dimer. Hence, experimental studies of these reactions could yield valuable information about the interatomic potentials.
(c) 1972 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in The Journal of Chemical Physics and may be found at http://link.aip.org/link/?JCPSA6/56/926/1;