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I know a few people already asked, but I am still a bit confused. I know Q is the reaction quotient and K is the equilibrium constant. Although, I don't understand why they are calculated the same way how will K ever be greater or Q ever be greater. Because in our notes it states a smaller q means you have more reactants , and a larger q means you have more products
Also keep in mind that when you are calculating Q, the reaction composition/mixture given in the problem is not at equilibrium. Therefore, Q will be greater or smaller than K depending on how much more reactants/products there are in the given reaction mixture.
The difference between Q and K is that Q is an expression that can be used to describe the composition of the reaction mixture at any time of the reaction. And also between Q and K, the reaction quotient Q at equilibrium is equal to the equilibrium constant K.
Usually if you are solving a problem involving both K and Q, you will be given a value for K for which you will compare the value you get for Q to. This is because the chemical equation you are given is not necessarily at equilibrium, and to find this out you compare your K and Q values (if they are equal, your system is at equilibrium).
You calculate K by using the concentration of the reactants and products when the reaction is in equilibrium. You calculate Q by using the concentration of the reactants and products when the reaction is or is not in equilibrium. That is why Q is sometimes greater or smaller than K.
amogha_koka3I wrote:Should we specify Qc And Qp just like we differentiate between Kc and Kp?
I think so, but if the question focus on pressures only or on concentrations only, just write Q or K should be fine. Just make sure you use the correct formula, do not write pressures of reactants/products for Kc/Qc and do not write concentration of reactants/products for Kp/Qp.
K is the actual equilibrium constant that is a specific given value for a certain reaction. However, when you are calculating whether a reaction has reached equilibrium, you use Q, and compare it to the equilibrium constant K. If Q is equal to K, then the reaction is at equilibrium. Since K is a fixed value, if the calculated value of Q is smaller than K, the reaction will favor more products. However, if the calculated value of Q is greater than K, then the reaction will favor more reactants. K does not change but Q can depending on the conditions of the problem.
Q is calculated at any time during the reaction while K is only calculated at equilibrium. This means that Q and K would be equal if the point at which Q was measured was at equilibrium. Q is not limited to the concentration or partial pressures values at equilibrium, while K is.
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