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The Effect of Temperature on Rate
Collision theory says that reactions occur when molecules collide with a certain minimum
kinetic energy.

The more frequent these collisions, the faster the reaction.
This energy is needed to overcome the energy barrier, the activation enthalpy, for the
reaction ­ this is the energy…

Page 2

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As the temperature increases, more molecules move at higher speeds and have
higher kinetic energies.

The graph below shows how the distribution of energies changes when you increase the
temperature by 10c, from 300K to 310K.

You can see that there is still a spread of energies, but now a…

Page 3

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The graph below shows the curve for both 300K and 310K.

You can see that, at the higher temperature, a significantly higher proportion of molecules
have energies above 50kJ mol 1 ­ about twice as many.

This means that twice as many molecules have enough energy to react ­ so…


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