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Chemistry : Energy Changes


This topic focusses on the measurement of energy changes in chemical reactions. Students will look into the following ideas; exothermic and endothermic reactions, activation energy and reaction profiles. They will then move onto calculate energy changes of reactions and study how fuel cells and batteries work.

The main SMSC/Personal Development content of this topic includes: PD22 – Use a range of skills in different contexts, PD23 – WIllingness to participate in a variety of contexts and PD24 – develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

The main UN Rights of a Child covered are No.13 – Sharing thoughts freely, No.17 – Access to Information and No.28 – Access to Education.

Example Key Words


A chemical reaction which releases energy to the surroundings.


A chemical reaction which absorbs energy from the surroundings. 

Activation Energy

The mimiumum amount of energy required for a reaction to occur. 

Reaction Profile

Sketch graph showing the energy changes during a chemical reaction. 


A substance that takes part in and undergoes change during a reaction.


Products are the substances formed from chemical reactions.

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