CH302H - Principles of Chemistry II: Honors
Spring 2014, Unique 51880

Lecture Summary, 18 February  2014

Equilibrium:   Today we derived an expression that defines the composition of any reaction at equilibrium, the point were the system has minimized its potential energy (i.e. free energy).  This expression is a ratio with products (raised to their stoichiometric coefficients) in the numerator and reactants (raised to their stoichiometric coefficients) in the denominator.  This ratio, the equilibrium constant K, tells us how much of each species at equilibrium.  More importantly, because we can calculate K from standard reaction free energies, we can determine the value of K, and thus the composition of the reaction at equilibrium, without actually having to do an experiment.