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Particles Must Collide to React

Particles in liquids and gases are always moving and colliding with each other. They' dont react every time they collide though - only when the conditions are right. A reaction won't take place between two particles unless:

  • They collide in the right direction: need to be facing each other in the right way.
  • They collide with at least a certain minimum amount of kinetic (movement) energy


ACTIVATION ENERGY: The minimum amount of kinetic energy that particles need to react.



1) If you increase the temperature of a reaction, the particles will on average have ore kinetic energy and will move faster. So, a greater proportion of molecules will have at least the activation energy and be able to react. This changes the shape of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution curve - it pushes it over to the right.

2) At higher temperatures, because the molecules are flying about faster, they'll collide more often. This


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