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Since when writing rate laws, the coefficients of the equation are not the power in the rate law, like 3 I- is not [I-]^3, how would you determine the power of a concentration in a rate law? Is it impossible to determine just by looking at the chemical equation?
The order of a rate law is determined experimentally using the method of initial rates or by looking at the graphs. When the observed rate law is given along with the elementary steps of a reaction, you can use the pre-equilibrium approach to determine the slow step that determines the rate of the overall reaction. In the pre-equilibrium approach the coefficients of the reactants are the powers of their concentrations.
You can write the rate law from the the formula itself, A+B -> C, r=k[A][B], but you wouldnt know what order it is until you find the exponents to each reactant, most likely from a data table.
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