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Collision theory for Reaction Mechanisms

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:43 pm
by Ishan Saha 1L
Hi! Sorry if this is phrased in a confusing way- I was wondering why collision theory allows us to use the number of molecules colliding (the coefficient) to find the order of the reaction when we are finding reaction mechanisms, when typically for chemical reactions the order must be determined experimentally?

Re: Collision theory for Reaction Mechanisms

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:58 pm
by Brandon Fujii 1K
Hi if I recall correctly, Dr. Lavelle gave the example of the throwing tennis balls in the air. The probability of throwing three balls in the air and having them collide at the exact same time is lower than the probability of throwing two balls in the air and having them collide at the exact same time. I believe that this is more of a conceptual explanation of why greater order reactions (3rd, 4th, etc order) are less likely than lower order reactions (1st, 2nd, etc order).

Re: Collision theory for Reaction Mechanisms

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:55 pm
by Angel R Morales Dis1G
More than likely, we'll be dealing with unimolecular and bimolecular reactions, maybe some termolecular reactions, and this is basically the chances of atoms colliding with each other. The chances the atoms collide in the necessary ways decrease as the amount of atoms increases.