The curved line is the energy pathway for a pair of collidingmolecules(called the energy or enthalpy profilefor the reaction).
X corresponds to the arrangement of atoms where old bonds arestretched and new bonds are starting to form.Eg. For chlorine atoms and ozone, the oxygen – oxygen bonds inozone break and a new bond between oxygen and chlorine isforming.Cl + O
ClO + O
At X(this is a very unstable arrangement and only lasts for a very shorttime).Theenthalpy profileis shown as asingle curve(this is only true
for single-step reactions). Other reactions haveseveral steps, sothe enthalpy profile would show several steps, too.
ReactantsProductsEnthal pyProgress of reaction