Credit: INTELECOM /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Demonstration of the activation energy of enzymes represented by a ball attempting to roll uphill. For any chemical reaction to occur, an energy barrier must be overcome. This energy barrier is known as the activation energy. Imagine a ball sitting on top of a hill. For the ball to roll down the hill and release its stored energy, an initial energy must be applied to overcome the ball ?s inertia. Once the barrier is exceeded, the energy invested is returned as the ball rolls down the hill. In order for this reaction to proceed quickly, the barrier must be reduced. Enzymes in fact, all catalysts speed up chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy. In the case of our ball analogy, an enzyme would reduce the amount of initial energy needed to push the ball down the hill. Once the enzyme has lowered the activation energy, the rate of the reaction can be dramatically increased. Not only are the molecular results of the reaction, called products, formed faster, but reactions reach their equilibrium state more rapidly, meaning the forward reaction happens at the same rate as the backward reaction, and the reaction progress stops.

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Keywords: activation energy, biochemistry, chemical reaction, energy barrier, enzyme, product, reactant, substrate

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Activation energy enzyme demo

K004/9916 Rights Managed

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Duration: 00:01:00

Frame size: 1920x1080

Frame rate: 30

Audio: Yes

Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 946.0M

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Capture format: QuickTime Animation

Codec: Photo - JPEG

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