Why Is Heat a Catalyst?

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Heat is a catalyst because it increases temperature and makes molecules move faster, a reaction that automatically increases the amount of energy involved. Discover why heat makes molecules run into each other more frequently with help from a science teacher and field biologist in this free video on chemistry.

Part of the Video Series: Biology & Organic Chemistry
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian with ericksontutoring.blogspot.com. Today we're going to discuss why heat is a catalyst. So in general catalysts are things that speed up chemical reactions without actually being changed themselves. Enzymes are a typical type of biological catalyst that helps to lower that division of energy. But we're going to talk about heat. And really we need to understand why reaction rates might vary. One thing that impacts the rate of reaction is how often molecules actually collide with each other. And another thing is whether or not they have enough energy. So heat is the temperature, right? And kinetic energy which is sort of the energy of moving things is temperature. So if you increase that you're automatically increasing the amount of energy that's in your system. This makes the molecules move faster with more energy as I just said. So what ends up happening is your molecules collide more often but more importantly, they collide more frequently with the required amount of energy to make the reaction happen. So you're giving them enough energy and you're making it more likely that they're going to run in to each other. And this is why heat is a catalyst.

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