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While I know that knowing how to derive the equation is a great way to understand the equation, is it necessary to know how to derive the rate equations (like Prof. Lavelle did in 2/28 lecture) for the final exam? Thank you!
I personally don't think Dr. Lavelle would expect us to derive the equation on the final although I'm sure it could be helpful to understand where the rate equation came from. Also, since that equation is provided on the equation sheet, I think he would just make us apply it in a certain problem.
I don't think Prof Lavelle would ask us to derive the equation on the final since his exams have to do more with applying the concepts we've learned rather than just reproducing the information he's given us. Instead, you should study what the difference between a differential rate law and integrated rate law are, and really get a good understanding of the information they convey.
Understanding how the equation is derived could help you a lot in answering all the conceptual questions in kinetics. I would spend less time trying to memorize the derivation and instead look over and understand each step taken to derive it and what this indicates about the rates. For example, it would help you understand why one focuses on the initial rate of the reactant. It would also help you understand aspects of the ln [A] vs. time graph, including why a line with a slope of -k would indicate a first order reaction.
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