## Finding the slow step

$K = \frac{k_{forward}}{k_{reverse}}$

AlyssaPeckham1A
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

### Finding the slow step

How should we determine which step is the slow step?

Justin Chu 1G
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

### Re: Finding the slow step

The way you find the slow step is you have to be given an overall rxn and an experimentally determined rate law. Then, from the proposed rxn mechanism, you would have to test each step to see which one matches the given rate law and the one that does is your rate-determining step, aka the slow step.

Wilson Yeh 1L
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

### Re: Finding the slow step

The slow step is the rate determining step, so I think if you were to test a given set of steps, whichever one comes out to work and match the observed rate would be the slow step. At least that's what I'm pretty sure is the case, if I'm wrong someone feel free to correct me!

Phillip Winters 2F
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

### Re: Finding the slow step

If you are given the rate law, then you can look at the steps of the reaction in order to determine which step is the slow step

Angel R Morales Dis1G
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:01 am

### Re: Finding the slow step

Someone asked that question in my discussion today, the T.A said that the (slow) and (fast) steps will be given, so we shouldn't worry about it.

kaushalrao2H
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am
Been upvoted: 2 times

### Re: Finding the slow step

even if the steps of the reaction mechanism aren't explicitly labeled as slow and fast, you should just try writing the rate law for each of the steps and seeing which one matches the experimentally determined rate law for the overall reaction. if the rate law for a step in the mechanism matches the experimentally determined rate law, then it is the slow step (since the slow step is rate determining).