Unit 13: Chemical Kinetics


  • To understand and describe the speed at shich reactions take place.
  • To express the rate of a reaction in terms of the concentrations of reactants and products
  • To explain the relationship between stoichiometry and rate
  • To define the rate law of a reaction in terms of the rate constant and readtion order
  • To explain the relationship betweek reaction concentration and time for 0 order, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order reactions (uing half-life to distinguish)
  • To understand how the rate of a reaction usually increases with temperature, and the influence of activation energy.
  • To determine the rate law using the steps in the reaction mechanism, and to determine the mechanisms experimentally.
  • To understand the effects of 3 types of catalysts on the rate of a reaction

Course Goals and Essential Questions

  • How can we learn about things that are to small to see?
  • What relationships can I construct among basic concepts, skills, and understandings?
  • How can I best assess my own learning and progress?
  • How can I better use technology in my learning?
  • How can I become a better digital citizen?
  • How can I think more divergently, create, innovate?
  • How can I use my experience in chemistry to learn to think and communicate clearly, logically, and critically in preparation for college and a career?

Prior Knowledge and skills

  • Writing and balancing equations
  • Using reaction stoichiometry
  • Using molarity in calculations
Learning Targets Ch.13.1 The Rate of a Reaction DO Q&P 13.1-13.8

Students will know and be able to.....

  1. Differentiate between average and instantaneous rates of chemical reactions.
  2. Define rate constant.
  3. Use the concepts of stoichiometry to write reaction rate expression in terms of the disappearance of reactants and the appearance of products.
  4. Sketch the rate of reaction versus concentration of reactant for zero and first order reactions.
Learning Targets Ch. 13.2 The Rate Law DO Q&P 13.13-13.20

Students will know and be able to.....

  1. Use rate data to determine rate laws and rate constants.
  2. Show mathematically that ln[A] = −kt + ln[A]0 for first order reactions.
  3. Determine the time required for the concentration of a reactant to change a desired amount given the initial concentration and the rate constant for a first order reaction.
Learning Targets Ch. 13.3 the Relation Between Reaction Concentration and Time DO Q&P 13.21-13.30

Students will know and be able to...

  1. Show that half-life is independent of initial concentration of the reactant in a first order reaction.
  2. Use the concept of half-life to determine concentration of reactants over time.
  3. Show mathematically that   for second order reactions.
Learning Targets Ch. 13.4 Activation Energy and Temperature Dependence of Rate Constants DO Q&P 13.31-13.47

Students will know and be able to....

  1. Describe the Collision Theory of Chemical Kinetics using the terms activation energy, activated complex (transition state), potential energy profiles, endothermic and exothermic reactions.
  2. Use Arrhenius equation to determine the activation energy of a reaction.
Learning Targets Ch. 13.5 Reaction Mechanisms DO Q&P 13.48-13.58

Students will know and be able to....

  1. Demonstrate that the sum of elementary steps is the overall reaction for a reaction mechanism and that intermediates appear in the reaction mechanism but no in the overall reaction.
  2. Define molecularity of unimolecular, bimolecular, and termolecular reactions.
  3. Relate the importance of the rate-determining step in determination of reaction mechanisms.
  4. Express how isotopes can be used to experimentally determine reaction mechanisms.
Learning Targets Ch. 13.6 Catalysis DO Q&P 13.59-13.66

Students will know and be able to....

  1. Describe what catalysis does, how it effects activation energy and the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.
  2. Relate the importance of enzymes as biological catalysts.

Links and Resources

  • ChemWiki from UC Davis on 1st order reactions - its ok to scroll past the calculus
  • Rate Laws from Graphs (Just like in your notes!)
  • Kinetics - from Purdue - basic and simple explanations
  • Kinetics - University of Arizona - first 4 links on the page; again, ignore the calculus if you want.


L. C. Lee 1990-2013
Creative Commons License
This work by Luann Christensen Lee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.chemistar.com.

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