## potential-energy profile

https://doi.org/10.1351/goldbook.P04779
A curve describing the variation of the potential energy of the system of atoms that make up the reactants and products of a reaction as a function of one geometric coordinate, and corresponding to the 'energetically easiest passage' from reactants to products (i.e. along the line produced by joining the paths of steepest descent from the @[email protected] to the reactants and to the products). For an @[email protected] the relevant geometric coordinate is the @[email protected] ; for a @[email protected] it is the succession of reaction coordinates for the successive individual reaction steps. (The @[email protected] is sometimes approximated by a quasi-chemical index of reaction progress, such as 'degree of atom transfer' or @[email protected] of some specified bond.)