Chemistry - Example of collisions
Example of collisions
Only a small proportion of the collisions between reactant particles will
have total kinetic energy equal to or greater than Ea, and thus potentially
be fruitful collisions.
When a reaction mixture is at a fixed temperature, the particles have a
wide range of kinetic energies with a fixed average and distribution.
Consequently the combined kinetic energies of colliding particles in the
reaction mixture are distributed around a fixed average kinetic energy as
indicated in the diagram below.
The shaded area under the curve represents the proportion of collisions
that have energy equal to or greater than the activation energy.
Any factor that increases the proportion of collisions with energy equal
to or greater than the activation energy will increase the rate at which
the reaction occurs.
This is emphasised on the diagram below where T2 is greater than T1.
Since all particles move faster at higher temperatures the distribution of
collision energies shifts. The number of collisions with energy greater
than the activation energy increases and the rate of reaction increases.
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