Microscopic Reversibility  [ENDORSED]

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Microscopic Reversibility

Postby 605168557 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:35 pm

Can someone explain the significance of microscopic reversibility and an example of how we might need to apply it?

Matthew Mar 1J
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Re: Microscopic Reversibility  [ENDORSED]

Postby Matthew Mar 1J » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:48 pm

For our purposes, I think microscopic reversibility is most important when thinking about the pre-equilibrium approach to determining rate laws. Microscopic reversibility refers to the fact that, in a multi-step reaction, the fast steps are occurring at about equilibrium if followed by a slow step. This allows us to approximate the equilibrium constant for the fast step which, rearranged, can give us the concentration of the reaction's intermediate in terms of the equilibrium constant and the reactants. So when we go to write the rate law for the overall reaction, we aren't including the intermediate in there and instead write it in terms of the actual reactants that are put into the reaction.

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