Transition State Theory describes how a reactive system crosses an energy barrier that is marked by a saddle point of the potential energy. The transition from the reactant to the product side of the barrier is regulated by a system of invariant manifolds that separate trajectories with qualitatively different behaviour.
The situation becomes more complex if there are more than two reaction channels, or possible outcomes of the reaction. Indeed, the monkey saddle potential, with three channels, is known to exhibit chaotic dynamics at any energy. We investigate the boundaries between initial conditions with different outcomes in an attempt to obtain a qualitative and quantitative description of the relevant invariant structures.
[CV: Prof. Oded Margalit, PhD in Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University under the
supervision of Prof. Zvi Galil has worked at IBM's Haifa research lab on
machine learning, constraint satisfaction, verification and more. Currently he is the CTO
of the IBM Cyber security center of excellence at Ben Gurion University
of the Negev. Oded participates in organising several computer science
competitions (like the international IEEEXtreme and the national CodeGuru). He loves riddles and authors the monthly
challenge corner of IBM research: "Ponder-This".]