Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction


Be·​lo·​u·​sov-Zha·​bo·​tin·​sky reaction ˌbe-lə-ˈü-ˌsȯf-zhä-bə-ˈtin-skē- How to pronounce Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction (audio)
variants or less commonly Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction
: any of a class of autocatalytic chemical reactions characterized by the creation of a self-sustaining repeating pattern
Chemical computing owes its power to an intriguing but complex piece of chemistry called the Belousov-Zhabotinsky or BZ reaction.Duncan Graham-Rowe, New Scientist, 26 Mar. 2005

called also BZ reaction

Word History


after Boris Pavlovich Belousov †1970 and Anatoliĭ Markovich Zhabotinskiĭ †2008 Russian chemists

Note: The story of the discovery of the reaction by Belousov (1893-1970) in 1951 and its subsequent re-elaboration and description by Žabotinskij (1938-2008) in the early 1960's have been detailed in a number of sources in English and Russian, such as A.T. Winfree, "The Prehistory of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Oscillator," Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 61, no. 8 (August, 1984), pp. 661-63.

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction was in 1976

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Dictionary Entries Near Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction


Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction


Cite this Entry

“Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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