How would you summarize the collision theory and how surface area applies to reaction rates?

1 Answer
Dec 9, 2016

The more collisions the faster the reaction rate. Greater surface area results in more collisions therefore a faster reaction rate.


take sugar cubes and gently place them in water and time the rate of dissolving.
Then cut the sugar cubes in half and again time the rate of dissolving
The cut the sugar cubes into fourths (carefully) and again time the rate of dissolving.

The smaller the pieces the greater the surface area.

A follow up experiment is the reaction of sugar burning.

Place a sugar cube on a very hot hot plate. Observe it turning black and eventually burning.
Then break the sugar cube up into a fine powder. Sprinkle the powdered sugar ( from a safe height) unto the hot hot plate. If the plate is hot enough it will burst into flames even as it is falling unto the hot plate. ( great demonstration.