• No particle has zero energy
  • Most particles have intermediate energies (displayed around the peak of the curve)
  • Few particles have very high energies (displayed on the right-hand side of the curve)
  • The average energy is not the same as the most probable energy

Maxwell Boltzmann graph

  • The number of molecules in a gas with different kinetic energies is displayed on a Maxwell Boltzmann graph
  • To the left of the graph is all of the molecules that are slow moving
  • At the peak of the graph, is the most common amount of molecules which are at an average speed of movement
  • To the right are the molecules that are fast moving
  • Past the activation energy line is all of the molecules which are moving fast enough for them to react

Effect of Temperature

  • Increasing the temperature of a gas will thus give each molecule more kinetic energy
  • The result of this is more particles will have the minimum activation energy and be able to react successfully
  • The Maxwell Boltzmann graph moves to the right as there are more molecules with more kinetic energy
  • As more molecules would have successfully collided, more molecules after the activation energy (Ea) mark will be present in the high temperature compared to the lower temperature

Effect of Concentration

  • Increasing the concentration of reactants in a given solution will result in there being more particles in a closer proximity to one another
  • As the particles are closer together there is an increased chance of collisions, and therefore more particles can react
  • If the reaction is a gas, increasing the pressure of the gas results in the same effect. Raising the pressure causes the particles to be closer together, increasing the number in a given volume.