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An Experiment to Investigate the Factors that Affect the Rate of Reaction

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An Experiment to Investigate the Factors that Affect the Rate of Reaction Introduction The rate of a reaction is the speed a reaction takes to occur. When a reaction takes place, each of the reactant's particles move and collide with each other to form new bonds. If there is more energy in the reaction, the particles move faster with much more force and so the number of collisions increase, thus increasing the rate of the reaction (reaction occurs faster). The above is an example of one of the factors that affect the rate of reaction: temperature. If the reaction mixture is cold, the particles move slowly, and as a result, there are fewer collisions. But if the temperature is increased, the particles move more rapidly as they have more energy, resulting in more collisions, and so the reaction takes place faster. There are also three other factors affecting the rate of reaction: * Concentration of Reactants - In a dissolved reactant, if there is a low concentration, it means that there are fewer particles present within the solution. When a reactant has a high concentration, it means there are more particles within the solution. In a reaction, if one or both of the reactants have a low concentration, the particles will be further away from each other, and so they will collide less often. ...read more.


When a reaction has a small number of particles (low concentration), there are fewer collisions occurring and so less new bonds are produced, making the reaction take a longer time happen. As you can see from the diagram below, as the concentration increases, the time taken for the reaction decreases, producing the inversely proportional relationship. But this also means that as the concentration increases, the rate of reaction decreases, thus producing the directly proportional relationship. Method: A conical flask will be placed onto a piece of paper with a cross on it. Sodium Thiosulphate and water will be mixed together to produce a range of concentrations for the Sodium Thiosulphate, and then each solution will be placed separately into the conical flask, using a burette for measurement. Hydrochloric acid will then be measured and added into the conical flask using a syringe. As the Sodium Thiosulphate and water solution react with the Hydrochloric acid, a stopwatch will measure the time taken for the cross on the piece of paper to be obscured. Each separate test will be repeated three times in all to make the experiment more accurate. The tests will have to be kept fair by keeping the surface area the same and by not using a catalyst, and the temperature will have to be very carefully monitored because if the reaction ...read more.


will be able to record at what time the light from the bulb stopped reaching it: From this, we would be able to calculate how long the reaction took to occur, by subtracting the finishing time from the start time. This would improve the precision and fairness for each test conducted, consequently improving our results. Another experiment we could do to investigate the factors that affect the rate of reaction, is investigating temperature. We could conduct experiments where we take a reaction and find out how it is affected by increasing and decreasing the temperature. If we did do such an investigation, I predict that as the temperature increases, the rate of reaction will also increase, because the particles in the reactions will have more energy to move due to the temperature, therefore increasing the number of successful collisions, and as we saw in this investigation, increase in collisions results in an increase in the rate of reaction. As we did do another experiment to replace the anomalous result, and we kept all the tests fair, I think that our final set of results are reliable and accurate, and as they were similar to the results of another group conducting the same investigation, I think that the results are valid, so if someone conducted the experiment using the same procedure as us, they should obtain similar results. ...read more.

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