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Equilibrium being shifted

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:38 am
by melissa_dis4K
So both in the module video and in class, Professor Lavelle mentioned that we should not think of equilibrium being shifted, rather that it sits on the right or left. However, when I was completing the first module I came across two questions:
With respect to equilibrium constants what does it mean when the “equilibrium is shifted to the right”?
and
With respect to equilibrium constants what does it mean when the “equilibrium is shifted to the left”?
both answer choices were:
A. K > 0
B. K < 1
C. K = 1
D. K > 1
E. None of the above
I chose None of the above for both. I guess I'm just confused on how he said that we shouldn't think of equilibrium as shifting. Both were incorrect so if someone could please explain, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

Re: Equilibrium being shifted

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:30 pm
by Chem_Mod
An equilibrium is said to either favor the reactants or products. However, adding a reactant or product (or changing something such as the pressure/volume when gasses are involved) SHIFT the equilibrium. The professor didn't want the word "shift" to be used when talking about which side of a reaction is favored at equilibrium as the term "shift" is reserved for when we are discussing adding something to the system when it is at equilibrium.