## How to determine slow step?

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ELu 1J
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

### How to determine slow step?

How do you know if a step is slow or fast in a reaction mechanism?

JohnWalkiewicz2J
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### Re: How to determine slow step?

Typically, the problem will tell you if it is aslow or fast step, at least the problems in the textbook do : )

EthanPham_1G
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

Since the slow step determines the overall rate of the reaction, then typically if you are given the overall rate of the reaction that is the slow step.

805312064
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

I don't think there is a way to determine it unless the problem tells you

WGaines_2E
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:18 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

the slow step is typically the given rate of the reaction

005162520
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

Why does the slow step determine rate law ?

Max Madrzyk Dis 4G
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

I'm pretty sure the problem will have to tell you if the step is fast or slow. All the practice problems I've done so far have specified.

Tyler Angtuaco 1G
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

The slow step is denoted in the problem. It is also the step whose rate matches the overall rate law.

EthanPham_1G
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

005162520 wrote:Why does the slow step determine rate law ?

The slow step determines the overall rate law because the overall rate of the reaction can only be as fast as the slowest step. If that makes sense. It's kind of like how a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Hope that helps? :)

Jessa Maheras 4F
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: How to determine slow step?

EthanPham_1G wrote:
005162520 wrote:Why does the slow step determine rate law ?

The slow step determines the overall rate law because the overall rate of the reaction can only be as fast as the slowest step. If that makes sense. It's kind of like how a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Hope that helps? :)

That makes lots of sense, thank you! I would add in saying it creates a sort of bottleneck effect

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