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collision theory

atoms, ions and molecules can react to form products when they collide if the particles have enough kinetic energy

activation energy

the minimum energy that colliding particles must have in order to react

activated complex

an unstable arrangement of atoms that forms for a moment at the peak of the activation-energy barrier


a substance that increases the rate of reaction without itself undergoing chemical change

rate law

an expression for the rate of reaction in terms of the concentration of reactants

specific rate constant

a proportionally constant relating to the concentrations of reactants to the rate of the reaction

rate of chemical reaction

the amount of reaction that takes place in unit time

reversible reaction

one in which the conversion of reactants to products and the conversion of products to reactants occurs at the same time

chemical equilibrium

when the rates of the forward and reverse reactions are equal and the reaction has reached a state of balance

equilibrium constant

the ratio of product concentrations to reactant concentrations to the concentrations at equilibriums

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