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"n" half lives just refers to how many half lives have occurred at any stage of the reaction in question. A half life occurs at the specific time when the current value of the concentration of reactants is halved. For example, after 2 half lives (n=2), the concentration of the reactants would be 1/4 the original concentration (1/2 * 1/2). After three half lives (n=3), the concentration of the reactants would be 1/8 the original concentration ( 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2).
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