Rates of reaction: Collision Theory Simulation

Rates of reaction: Collision Theory Simulation
Publication Date: January, 2011
Type of Resource: Interactive/Simulation

This downloadable resource simulates the effects of temperature on chemical reactions.

Specifically, the resource is a java application which allows students to model the effects of temperature on the rate of collisions in a closed system to see how this affects chemical reaction rates.

Users can alter the number of particles in their model and change the temperature of the reaction, and by observing the simulation they can see how the number of collisions are affected.

See the Additional Information section about how to access the resource.

Additional Information

To find this resource, you will need to navigate through the Phet Collection of simulations on the Hippocampus site. The resource in question is the 'Reactions & Rates' simulation under the 'Chemistry' category.

This free simulation is part of the PheT collection located on the Hippocampus.org site. It requires Java Web Start, a free application that can be downloaded from Sun Microsystems. To run these Java-based simulations you must have Java version 1.5 or higher installed on your computer. Google Chrome no longer supports the Java Web Start application and so it is best to use another browser. It is recommended that you contact your local IT support staff for help with this installation.

This resource would probably be more suited for higher ability students at Year 10 as it includes the consideration of activation energy. Also, the use of the simulation itself is not totally straightforward with a number of options provided for the student. However, it is clever how it links the concepts together. It could also be used in class teaching where students could be asked to predict the effect of the various changes.

Australian Curriculum:
  • Year 10 > Science Understanding > Chemical Sciences > Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products... > ACSSU187