Collision theory and mechanisms – linking it together

I’ve just started teaching the kinetics topic to my students and so far we have focussed on the collision theory. Have you heard of this? The collision theory explains to us what happens during chemical reactions in terms of the collision of particles. In order for a chemical reaction to occur, particles need to come together (collide) with sufficient energy (speed). This is called the activation energy (and is defined as the minimum amount of energy required for a chemical reaction). If ...

SN1 or SN2 – what do the numbers mean?

Chances are, as a teacher or a student you will come across these terms (SN1 or SN2) in the teaching of IB Chemistry. They come up on a number of occasions in the organic chemistry part of the course (at Core, Higher or Option level). As a student, I was happy with the SN part - 'S' meant substitution - quite self explanatory, you swap one thing with another. 'N' was a little more difficult but I could get my head ...

Top Tips for success (1)

Top tips for success - each week or so I will aim to give you some tips for your exams. So here we go, top tip #1: Organic Chemistry --> Mechanisms When drawing mechanisms we use 'curly arrows'. Ensure you get your curly arrows the correct way around. The arrow head shows where the electrons are going to. The end of the arrow shows where the electrons have come from. Common mistakes in this often have the arrow the wrong way around (especially ...