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I'm not really sure how to approach this question. I used a different method than the book's answer key but still got the right answer. Can anyone explain the book's method? Also how can we use these answers to determine which is more thermodynamically stable?
A molecule is more thermodynamically stable if more of it exists post-reaction, since less of it breaks up into parts in order to form its product form. Thus, the molecule with the smallest K value (most reactant-favored reaction) will be the most stable. Since the reaction with Cl2 has a smaller K value than the one with F2, there will be more of the reactant molecule present at equilibrium, signifying that it is the more stable molecule of the two.
This question is asking which reactant is more stable (Cl2 or F2). Since the question is asking for the stability of the reactants, we must see which K value is smaller because that reaction would favor the reactants over the products more. If the question asked for the stability of the products, then we would look for the larger K value.
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