Study the following potential energy diagrams to understand better about the energy changes. The energy changes that occur during a chemical reaction can be shown in a diagram called a potential energy diagram. Give a look at the following examples of potential energy diagram below.
Chemical reactions involve a change in energy, usually a loss or gain of heat energy. A potential energy diagram shows the change in potential energy of a system as reactants are converted into products. The total potential energy of the system increases for the endothermic reaction as the system absorbs energy from the surroundings while the total potential energy of the system decreases for the exothermic reaction. The activation energy for a reaction is illustrated in the potential energy diagram by the height of the hill between the reactants and the products.
The activation energy of a reaction is sometimes referred to as the activation energy barrier. Reacting particles must have enough energy so that when they collide they can overcome that barrier. Potential energy diagrams can be used to calculate both the enthalpy change and the activation energy for a reaction.
An exothermic reaction is one in which heat energy is given out. Meanwhile, an endothermic reaction is one in which heat energy is absorbed. The diagrams that we provided above are the potential energy diagram. All of the diagrams are ready to be downloaded and printed in good quality. Find more interesting and educative diagrams in our site by browsing up our category!