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Using Collision Theory to Explain Reaction Rate

Collision Theory and Reaction Rate

This post will relate collision theory and explain reaction rate for Prelim Chemistry.

Topic: Rates of Reaction

  • Explain a change in reaction rate using collision theory


How Can We Relate Collision Theory and Reaction Rate?

We know that a successful collision between reactant molecules (where there is enough energy and they are in the correct orientation) results in the formation of a product. How do we increase the number of reactions then? Answer, by increasing the likelihood of successful collisions.

We went through how the factors could impact the reaction rate in the last post but this post will relate those factors to Collision Theory.

  • Temperature -> increasing temperature increases energy which increases the number of collisions with sufficient energy
  • Surface area -> increasing surface area of reactant enables more reactant-reactant interactions
    • e.g. Think of dyeing fabric, a massive piece of fabric versus cut up tinier pieces of fabric, which one will dye faster? 
  • Concentration -> increasing concentration increases the likelihood of collisions
  • Catalysts -> catalysts lower activation energy which increases the number of successful collisions

This video will introduce collisions and reaction rate.


This video will relate the factors and reaction rate.