SAT Subject Test Chemistry

PART 2

REVIEW OF MAJOR TOPICS

CHAPTER 9

Rates of Chemical Reactions

ACTIVATION ENERGY

Often a reaction rate may be increased or decreased by affecting the activation energy, that is, the energy necessary to cause a reaction to occur. This is shown graphically below for the forward reaction.

TIP 

Activation energy is the energy necessary to cause a reaction to occur.

catalyst, as explained in the preceding section, is a substance that is introduced into a reaction to speed up the reaction by changing the amount of activation energy needed. The effect of a catalyst used to speed up a reaction can be shown as follows:

TIP 

catalyst speeds up the reaction but is not consumed itself.