As we all know, you can provide energy to a reaction to overcome the activation energy of a reaction by heating the reaction.
I have, however, recently sat through a talk where someone 'powered' a reaction through ultrasonic waves. Apologies, but it was a rather small symposium, so I don't have the details readily available to me to illustrate it.
This was very interesting to me. I'd love to be able to just put my mixture in a ultrasonic bath and not have to fool with heating (Or at least have an educated option of trying it).
There's a fairly large field of photochemistry that I believe is based around this same principal, and I have a general understanding of the concept.
However, how would one go about exploring alternate pathways to replace heating a reaction? I think I grasp the concept theoretically, I just do not understand the origins of it or how to apply it to a new situation.