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  • 1 Ecole Polytechnique—ENSTA Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, CNRS URA 1406, INSERM U451 91761 Palaiseau cedex France
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With the intensive development of ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, reaction dynamics and transition states can be investigated at the subpicosecond time scale (0.05–3 ps). Aqueous ionic solutions represent a paradigm for the characterization of elementary chemical steps at the microscopic level. The discrimination of very short-lived electronic states during electron transfers in molecular liquids provide guidance for further theoretical developments on non-reactive and reactive dynamics in complicated many body systems.