Rates of reaction, energy changes and kinetic changes

Students will have covered some simple experiments and collision theory explanations at GCSE level and so will be coming to this topic with some background understanding.  GCSE definitions are refined further in the T level, such as what we mean by a catalyst, and there is the introduction of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution as a new idea. Common misconceptions in this topic include that 'more collisions' lead to an increased rate of reaction, whereas 'more frequent' collisions ( per unit time) is the more correct way of explaining this as there may overall be the same number of collisions but in a different amount of time. Reference to reaction graphs and 'what would happen if?' (we carried on collecting gas until the reaction stopped) questions would help explain this to students, along with an emphasis on the language used in explanations. 

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