Microscopic Reversibility

Arrhenius Equation: $\ln k = - \frac{E_{a}}{RT} + \ln A$

Emily Warda 2L
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Microscopic Reversibility

Today in lecture, Dr. Lavelle discussed microscopic reversibility. This concept holds that a reaction has the same pathway in the forward and reverse reactions. Would this mean that the activation barrier is the same for both the forward and reverse reaction? What does “same pathway” entail?

Chem_Mod
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Re: Microscopic Reversibility

Not exactly. The reaction mechanism is the same, however the activation barriers are different. This makes sense if you consider that the equilibrium constant K points in one direction. Or the gibbs free energy is either negative or positive in a certain direction.