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I'm not sure what the answer is, all of my friends and my chemistry teacher said it is A, I think it is obvious that the graph is talking about 2 catalysts so it could be D. But I have no idea what the E_a thing is, I've tried googling it to no avail. I got this question on an advanced Chemistry test. One thing for sure, it is not B because the word "additional" isn't there. And another thing, we can't say that one is the graph of the molecule without a catalyst and the other is its graph with a catalyst because according to the graph that would mean that sometimes the molecule without a catalyst is more active than without a catalyst which is obviously wrong.


1 Answer 1


Short answer: The two curves are the distribution of kinetic energy of molecules at two different temperatures. A catalyst won't change the distribution; only temperature change will change the energy distribution. The line marked Ea is the activation energy; a molecule has to have more than this to react. A catalyst could change the activation energy; since there is only one Ea, we can eliminate catalytic activity as an issue. All the molecules with less energy than this just bounce around, not reacting.

The curve with the higher peak represents the lower temperature. The one with the lower peak has a longer and higher tail out to higher energies, so the shaded area represents the greater number of high energy (reactive) molecules at the higher temperature. Answer: A.


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