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.

  • $\begingroup$ Start by having a look at Wikipedia pages on sonochemistry. (photochemistry by definition does not use acoustic energy to excite reactions) $\endgroup$
    – porphyrin
    May 30, 2017 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @porphyrin Thanks Ill take a look. And yes I know, I was providing a similar phenomenon to illustrate what i was looking for $\endgroup$ May 30, 2017 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ Note that interesting as sonochemistry may be, it is fundamentally just the study of a different way of heating a solution. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    May 30, 2017 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @airhuff Yes. I know that all of the mentioned material is fundamentally the same thing: Provide energy to the reaction. My question is how are these different ways analyzed to gauge their effective and appropriate usage $\endgroup$ May 31, 2017 at 12:21


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