GCSE Chemistry: Collision Theory

5th April 2017

GCSE Science - revising for your exams made easy

GCSE Chemistry - understanding the collision theory


To excel in your GCSE examinations it is vital that you understand how chemical reactions occur. One of the vital features of any chemical reaction is the collision theory. So what is collision theory?


Collision theory dictates that for a reaction to occur, it is necessary that atoms bump into each other. This collision causes the bonds between atoms to break down allowing for the possibility of new bonds to be formed, and thus the creation of new molecules.


The molecules in gases and liquids are very ‘free’ which  means that millions of collisions are occurring all of the time. For a collision to be successful in breaking bonds, the particles must have sufficient energy. This energy is called activation energy.


If the concentration of a reactant is increased, or the temperature is increased, the particles move more quickly which causes a greater number of collisions to take place. Therefore, more collisions will have the activation energy required to break the bonds, which means that the reaction will take place more quickly. The crucial thing to understand is that there must be sufficient energy for a reaction to occur.


Now that you know the fundamental information about how reactions occur, take a look at our song on collision theory to learn a bit more. When you’re done with that, be sure to take the quiz to test how much of the information you have managed to retain. The more you listen to the song, the more likely you are to remember the key information contained in it for your GCSEs.


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