Rate of Reaction

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Rate of Reaction

The rate of a reaction is the speed at which a chemical reaction happens. If a reaction has a low rate, that means the molecules combine at a slower speed than a reaction with a high rate. Some reactions take hundreds, maybe even thousands, of years while others can happen in less than one second. If you want to think of a very slow reaction, think about how long it takes plants and ancient fish to become fossils (carbonization). The rate of reaction also depends on the type of molecules that are combining. If there are low concentrations of an essential element or compound, the reaction will be slower.

There is another big idea for rates of reaction called collision theory. The collision theory says that as more collisions in a system occur, there will be more combinations of molecules bouncing into each other. If you have more possible combinations there is a higher chance that the molecules will complete the reaction. The reaction will happen faster which means the rate of that reaction will increase.

Think about how slowly molecules move in honey when compared to your soda even though they are both liquids. There are a lower number of collisions in the honey because of stronger intermolecular forces (forces between molecules). The greater forces mean that honey has a higher viscosity than the soda water.

Factors That Affect Rate
Reactions happen - no matter what. Chemicals are always combining or breaking down. The reactions happen over and over, but not always at the same speed. A few things affect the overall speed of the reaction and the number of collisions that can occur.

Temperature: When you raise the temperature of a system, the molecules bounce around a lot more. They have more energy. When they bounce around more, they are more likely to collide. That fact means they are also more likely to combine. When you lower…...

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