Catalysts and Reversible Reactions
(look at the bottom of this set of revision notes to see a graph that I will be referring to)
On the graph, you can see that the activation energy is the amount of energy needed for bonds to break and for a reaction to start.
Imagine it like rolling a ball down a hill - in order for the ball to start rolling, you need to push it up the hill. Once it's at the top, the ball will roll by itself, but if you do not get the amount of energy needed to get the ball to the top then the ball cannot roll down the hill.
Therefore, if the energy input is LESS than the activation energy, there will not be enough energy to begin the reaction, so nothing will happen.
A catalyst is a substance that changes the speed of a reaction, without being used up.
They work by…