In this video Paul Andersen explains that elementary reactions are steps within a larger reaction mechanism. Colliding molecules require sufficient energy and proper orientation to break bonds and form new bonds. A unimolecular reaction mechanism requires one type of reactant and is a first-order reaction. A bimolecular reactions requires two molecules colliding and is a second-order reaction. Termolecular reactions are rare but are the colliding of three molecules.
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Title: String Theory
Artist: Herman Jolly
All of the images are licensed under creative commons and public domain licensing:
chabacano. English: Explosion Symbol, June 14, 2007. Own work. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Explosion.svg.
domain, unknown-public. English: Stopwatch Icon for Time Trial Stages, May 18, 2011. http://cliparts101.com. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Time_Trial.svg.
project, w:User:Tkgd2007; w:User:Booyabazooka; The people from the Tango! An Amalgamation of an Icon from the Tango! Desktop Project and a Scale. Made in Inkscape., April 9, 2008. Image:Unbalanced_scales.svg & The Tango! Desktop Project. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emblem-scales.svg.
“Radioactive Dating Game.” PhET. Accessed October 21, 2013. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/radioactive-dating-game.
“Reactions & Rates.” PhET. Accessed October 20, 2013. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/reactions-and-rates.