Rate Of Reaction Essay

1081 words - 5 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

That temperature drop lowers the rate of the reaction. To the chemistry lab! Sometimes you will mix solutions in ice so that the temperature of the system stays cold and the rate of reaction is slower. 

Concentration: If there is more of a substance in a system, there is a greater chance that molecules will collide and speed up the rate of the reaction. If there is less of something, there will be fewer collisions and the reaction will probably happen at a slower speed. Sometimes, when you are in a chemistry lab, you will add one solution to another. When you want the rate of reaction to be slower, you will add only a few drops at a time instead of the entire beaker. 

Pressure: Pressure: Pressure affects the rate of reaction, especially when you look at gases. When you increase the pressure, the molecules have less space in which they can move. That greater density of molecules increases the number of collisions. When you decrease the pressure, molecules don't hit each other as often and the rate of reaction decreases. 

Pressure is also related to concentration and volume. By decreasing the volume available to the molecules of gas, you are increasing the concentration of molecules in a specific space. You should also remember that changing the pressure of a system only works well for gases. Generally, reaction rates for solids and liquids remain unaffected by increases in pressure. Measuring Reaction Rates
Scientists like to know the rates of reactions. They like to measure different kinds of rates too. Each rate that can be measured tells scientists something different about the reaction. We're going to take a little time to cover a few different measures of reaction rates. 

Forward Rate: The rate of the forward reaction when reactants combine to become products. 
Reverse Rate: The rate of the reverse reaction when products break apart to become reactants. 
Net Rate: The forward rate minus the reverse rate. 
Average Rate: The speed of the entire reaction from start to finish. 
Instantaneous Rate: The speed of the reaction at one moment in time. Some reactions can happen quickly at the start and then slow...

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