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I was wondering which rate order correlates to the fastest rate, or is there no correlation. For example is a reaction that is first order always faster/slower than a rate at second order if all other variables remain the same?
The order indicates the mechanism more than just the speed of reaction, as the rate constant indicates the speed of the reaction. It is my understanding that the order itself does not indicate anything explicitly about the speed of a reaction, it merely demonstrates how many particles/molecules of that reactant(s) "collide" to create the product(s).
For two or more reactions of the same order, the reaction with the largest rate constant is the fastest. Because the units of the rate constants for zeroth-, first-, and second-order reactions are different, however, we cannot compare the magnitudes of rate constants for reactions that have different orders.
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