Adding energy for enthelpies of formation by increasing velocity?

In summary, the question is whether kinetic energy can serve as a catalyst for reactions, in addition to heat and light energy. While the term "catalyst" may not be entirely accurate, increasing the kinetic energy of the reactants can increase the likelihood of a reaction occurring. This can be seen in examples such as photosynthesis and the thermite reaction.
  • #1
CaptainZappo
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I have no idea whether or not this is a ridiculous question, so I am just going to ask it.

My question is based on the concept that energy must be added to ions to get them to form compounds (such as the formation of hydrogen iodide). Typically (or so my chemistry textbook says), the addition of heat energy is the catalyst for these reactions. However, I also recently learned that light energy can also serve the role of catalyst (photochemical reactions). Can kinetic energy also somehow serve as a catalyst?

Basically, can energy added to the system by means of increasing the systems velocity, thereby increasing the systems total kinetic energy, start a reaction?

Feel free to call me an idiot if my question is ridiculous. I'm a physics major, not a chemistry major...haha.
 
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  • #2
I don’t think "catalyst" is really the right word to use for what you are describing.
A catalyst lowers the activation energy of a compound, thereby increasing the rate of reaction without getting used up in the process.
In the case of photosynthesis, the activation energy is provided by the light, and increasing the average kinetic energy of the substance (ie. raising its temperature) will also provide additional activation energy needed for the reaction to proceed.

Increasing the reactants' kinetic energy is a way increase the likelihood of a chemical reaction occurring.
For example...take two metal spheres, one made of Aluminum, the other made of Iron (rusted Iron). Place these two balls together and nothing will happen, the Aluminum and rust do not react. However, if you take these two balls in your arms and then slam them together fast enough you can create a small thermite reaction where the two spheres collide. The energy which went into starting the reaction originally came from the kinetic energies of the spheres before collision which was then turned into heat and allowed the substances to react.
 
  • #3


I can assure you that your question is not ridiculous at all. In fact, it is a very important and valid question to ask. The short answer is yes, increasing the velocity of a system can indeed provide the necessary energy for reactions to occur.

To understand this concept better, we need to think about the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred from one form to another. The second law states that in any energy transfer, there will be some loss of usable energy in the form of heat.

Now, let's apply these principles to your question. When we add heat energy to a system, we are essentially increasing the average kinetic energy of the particles in that system. This increase in kinetic energy allows the particles to overcome their attractive forces and form new bonds, leading to the formation of compounds.

Similarly, when we increase the velocity of a system, we are essentially increasing the kinetic energy of the particles in that system. This increase in kinetic energy can also provide the necessary energy for reactions to occur. In fact, high-energy collisions between particles can often result in the breaking of bonds and the formation of new compounds.

So, to answer your question, yes, kinetic energy can serve as a catalyst for reactions. However, it is important to note that the increase in velocity must be significant enough to provide the necessary energy for the reaction to occur. Additionally, the type of reaction and the specific conditions of the system will also play a role in determining the effectiveness of kinetic energy as a catalyst.

In conclusion, your question highlights the interconnectedness of different branches of science and the importance of understanding fundamental principles in order to make connections and ask meaningful questions. Keep asking questions and exploring the world around you, as that is the essence of science.
 

Related to Adding energy for enthelpies of formation by increasing velocity?

1. What is the relationship between velocity and enthalpies of formation?

The relationship between velocity and enthalpies of formation is that increasing the velocity of particles can add energy to the system, resulting in an increase in enthalpies of formation. This is because higher velocities mean more kinetic energy, which can be converted into potential energy and contribute to the overall enthalpy of the system.

2. How does adding energy through increased velocity affect enthalpies of formation in a chemical reaction?

Adding energy through increased velocity can impact the enthalpies of formation in a chemical reaction by increasing the overall energy of the system. This can lead to more energetic collisions between particles, resulting in a higher likelihood of successful reactions and potentially altering the enthalpies of formation of the products.

3. Is adding energy through increased velocity the only way to influence enthalpies of formation in a reaction?

No, there are other ways to influence enthalpies of formation in a reaction, such as changing the temperature or pressure of the system. Additionally, the use of catalysts can also impact the enthalpies of formation by lowering the activation energy required for a reaction to occur.

4. How does the mass of particles impact the relationship between velocity and enthalpies of formation?

The mass of particles does not directly impact the relationship between velocity and enthalpies of formation. However, it is important to note that particles with higher masses will require more energy to increase their velocity, which may affect the overall energy and enthalpies of formation in the system.

5. Can increasing the velocity of particles lead to a decrease in enthalpies of formation?

In most cases, increasing the velocity of particles will result in an increase in enthalpies of formation. However, there are certain scenarios where this may not be the case. For example, if the increased velocity causes the particles to escape the system, the overall energy and enthalpies of formation may decrease. Additionally, if the increased velocity leads to an endothermic reaction, the enthalpies of formation may also decrease.

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