Chemical Reactions  

Posted by M Riyadh Rizqullah in

Chemical Reactions
Let's start with the idea of a reaction. In chemistry, a reaction happens when two or more molecules interact and something happens. That's it. What molecules are they? How do they interact? What happens? Those are all the possibilities in reactions. The possibilities are infinite. There are a few key points you should know about chemical reactions.

Reaction of Hydrogen and Oxygen
Key Points
1. A chemical change must occur. You start with one compound and turn it into another. That's an example of a chemical change. A steel garbage can rusting is a chemical reaction. That rusting happens because the iron (Fe) in the metal combines with oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere. When a refrigerator or air conditioner cools the air, there is no reaction. That change in temperature is a physical change. Nevertheless, a chemical reaction can happen inside of the air conditioner.

2. A reaction could include ions, molecules, or pure atoms. We said molecules in the previous paragraph, but a reaction can happen with anything, just as long as a chemical change occurs (not a physical one). If you put pure hydrogen gas (H2) and pure oxygen gas in a room, they can be involved in a reaction. The slow rate of reaction will have the atoms bonding to form water very slowly. If you were to add a spark, those gases would create a reaction that would result in a huge explosion. Chemists would call that spark a catalyst.

Series of Chemical Reactions 3. Single reactions often happen as part of a larger series of reactions. Take something as simple as moving your arm. The contraction of that muscle requires sugars for energy. Those sugars need to be metabolized. You'll find that proteins need to move in a certain way to make the muscle contract. A whole series (hundreds actually) of different reactions are needed to make that simple movement happen.

This entry was posted on 03 November 2008 at 8:37 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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