Kinyonga
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#1
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#1
Hello! I'm doing my A-level in biology from home (two years crammed into one), and have reached the bit in my course about enzymes and activation energy etc.
There's a graph about this, with "Gibbs' free energy" marked on it - however, as far as I can see, no further mention is made of Gibbs or his free energy (at least in this chapter). Has my course skimmed over this and is it something I should know? Or is it not important for the exam?
Thank you!
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Reality Check
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Kinyonga)
Hello! I'm doing my A-level in biology from home (two years crammed into one), and have reached the bit in my course about enzymes and activation energy etc.
There's a graph about this, with "Gibbs' free energy" marked on it - however, as far as I can see, no further mention is made of Gibbs or his free energy (at least in this chapter). Has my course skimmed over this and is it something I should know? Or is it not important for the exam?
Thank you!
This is to do with energetics and what makes a reaction 'go', including a catalysed one. But I think for A level, unless you're doing Chemistry as well, you might be OK just knowing that an enzyme is a biological catalyst which lowers the activation energy required to make a reaction go by providing an alternative reaction pathway and facilitating the transition state.

Do these words, 'activation energy', 'transition state' mean anything to you? For instance, can you explain why the piece of paper on your desk doesn't suddenly just burst into flames, given that paper is flammable?
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Kinyonga
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Reality Check)
This is to do with energetics and what makes a reaction 'go', including a catalysed one. But I think for A level, unless you're doing Chemistry as well, you might be OK just knowing that an enzyme is a biological catalyst which lowers the activation energy required to make a reaction go by providing an alternative reaction pathway and facilitating the transition state.

Do these words, 'activation energy', 'transition state' mean anything to you? For instance, can you explain why the piece of paper on your desk doesn't suddenly just burst into flames, given that paper is flammable?
Thanks for your reply! That's good to know.
Activation energy, yes; transition state, heard the term, not sure what it means (yet). I've really just turned the page onto the enzymes topic haha.
And the said page doesn't spontaneously combust because it's not hot enough, I suppose? Not enough energy to start the oxidisation?
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Reality Check
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Kinyonga)
Thanks for your reply! That's good to know.
Activation energy, yes; transition state, heard the term, not sure what it means (yet). I've really just turned the page onto the enzymes topic haha.
Good - I think you should be fine with your existing knowledge then. It's only A level, so you don't need a huge level of detail. I'm not sure even whether you do enzyme kinetics at A level.

And the said page doesn't spontaneously combust because it's not hot enough, I suppose? Not enough energy to start the oxidisation?
Yes! And that energy is the activation energy. If you provide that activation energy, in the form of a flame, then the paper will burn spontaneously (this is where you'd revisit Gibbs free energy if you were so minded).
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Kinyonga
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes! And that energy is the activation energy. If you provide that activation energy, in the form of a flame, then the paper will burn spontaneously (this is where you'd revisit Gibbs free energy if you were so minded).
I see! I'll have a read up on Gibbs free energy, then, so that I can at least get the general gist of it. Thanks again
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Reality Check
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Kinyonga)
I see! I'll have a read up on Gibbs free energy, then, so that I can at least get the general gist of it. Thanks again
You're welcome. Enjoy energetics!
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