This spreadsheet uses the Eyring equation to draw a connection between activation barriers and the timescale of a reaction. Students input a free energy of activation and can quickly see how long a reaction will take at varying temperatures. This has been particularly useful in computational sections of literature articles that investigate possible mechanistic pathways.
Students should be able to understand the relationship between free energy of activation and reaction completion times at varying temperatures.
This spreadsheet is best used alongside a literature discussion, particularly for papers that investigate different mechanistic pathways. Students do not normally have an appreciation for how much a small change in activation energy can drastically change the realistic timeframe for reaction completion. For example, a barrier of 20 kcal/mol is easily accessible at room temperature, but a barrier increase to 25 kcal/mol would take ~20 days to reach completion at room temperature. Reaction completion times at varying temperatures allow students to better understand why a calculated pathway is more likely than another.
The spreadsheet also allows an opportunity to (re)introduce the Eyring equation.
The spreadsheet is used as a literature discussion aid and is not graded.