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6.03 Honors Assignment
It is time to practice using potential energy diagrams. Respond to the three questions below on
energy diagrams and submit to your instructor. Make sure you include your units in your
1. Consider the potential energy diagram shown below. This graph shows the chemical
potential energy in a reaction system over time. The y?axis is potential energy in
kilojoules. The x?axis is the reaction progress, or time.
a. Does this graph represent an endothermic or an exothermic reaction? Explain
b. What is the enthalpy change, ?H, for this reaction? Show your work.
c. What is the activation energy, Ea, for this reaction? Show your work.
2. In a particular chemical reaction, the energy of the reactants is 30 kJ and the energy of the
products is 5 kJ. The maximum energy of the system is 40 kJ.
a. Sketch a potential energy diagram for this reaction. Make sure to label the energy
of the reactants, the energy of the products, the activation energy, and the enthalpy
change for the reaction. You can attach your graph to the assessment separately if
b. What is the activation energy for this reaction?
c. What is the enthalpy change for this reaction?
d. Is this reaction endothermic or exothermic? Explain your answer in two ways:
first, using the energy values, and second, by referring to the shape of the graph.
3. The coating on the head of a match is highly flammable. When it burns, it releases a great
deal of energy. However, before the match can burn, it must gain a small amount of
energy from a spark. That spark is typically produced by striking (rubbing) the match
head against a rough surface. Sketch and describe a potential energy diagram that
represents the striking and burning of the match. Remember to label the diagram with the
energy changes that occur. Your answer must include the potential energy diagram and a
written description. (Note: you do not have to use actual energy values.) You can attach
your graph to the assessment separately if necessary.
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