Activation Energy

∞ generated and posted on 2023.05.18 ∞

Manipulation of substances in various ways so that they become sufficiently destabilized that they are able to enter into chemical reactions.

Activation Energy is literally the energy that is required to take a reactant to and through an intermediate state to result in the generation of a product.

Activation energy can be viewed alternatively as the energy required to move a compound from an otherwise stable state into a transition state. A transition state can be viewed, in turn, as a structure that is intermediate between that of a substance (or substances) (reactant or substrate) and whatever substances it is going to be chemically converted into (product).

Figure legend: Change to systems required to get chemical reactions started or, indeed, to get started any process that is hesitant to get started. Shown also is the impact of catalyst action on activation energy, which is to lower the activation energy required to get a reaction started. Note that the lowering of activation energy usually has the effect of speeding up the associated chemical reactions, that is, reactions move forward faster if they require less energy to get started.

Catalysts and therefore enzymes (as well as ribozymes) function by lowering the activation energy of chemical reactions, which results especially in increasing the rate of a catalyzed reaction or, as is generally the case, allowing a reaction to occur at all.

This video considers activation energy considered particularly from a biological perspective:

The following video is a bit sophisticated, but nevertheless is a consideration particularly of activation energy:

The following video provides a yet completely different (though not incorrect) look at what activation energy consists of: