1.4 Short Notes: Collision Theory Part 1

The Kinetic Theory of Matter

  1. All matter is made up of tiny discrete particles. These particles are continuously moving and they have kinetic energy.
  2. The collision theory explains:
    1. How chemical reaction occurs (i.e. Particles A and B collide to form Product C and D)
      1. Before a reaction can take place, the particles of the reactants must collide with each other at a correct orientation so that the original bonds are broken and new bonds can form.
    2. What factors affect the rate of reaction
      1. Orientation of collision - If the particles collide at an inaccurate orientation, no reaction will occur.
      2. Activation energy - Particles must collide with a minimum amount of energy (called the activation energy), for a reaction to occur. If the collision occurs with insufficient energy, the particles will bounce back without undergoing a chemical reaction.
  3. Collisions which do not result in formation of products are knowns as ineffective collisions.


  1. What must occur for a reaction to occur?
  2. What is a successful collision?
  3. What is activation energy?
  4. Why must particles collide with activation energy?


  1. Particles must collide with sufficient energy and at the correct orientation.
  2. A collision where a reaction takes place to form a product.
  3. The minimum energy required for a reaction to occur.
  4. To break the bonds between the reactants so that a product can form.

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