When do we use the equilibrium sign?

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Baoying Li 1B
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When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby Baoying Li 1B » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:06 pm

When do we use the equilibrium sign (the double arrows) in the chemical reaction?
Based on my knowledge, if the reactants completely dissolve in the reaction, we can use it. However, I have seen the chemical reaction of weak bases and weak acids also use the equilibrium sign. But couldn’t they dissolve completely in the reaction? Can someone help me explain this?

JonathanS 1H
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby JonathanS 1H » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:09 pm

Technically, we can use the equilibrium sign in almost every chemical reaction as there usually is a point of equilibrium. The reason we do not use it for strong acids and bases is because the concentration of reactant is so small, it is basically 0.

Eesha Chattopadhyay 2K
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby Eesha Chattopadhyay 2K » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:12 pm

The equilibrium sign is used in order to display that both the forward and reverse reactions are occurring. At equilibrium, this happens at the same rate, but the sign just symbolizes the presence of both reactions.

Gabriel Ordonez 2K
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby Gabriel Ordonez 2K » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:26 pm

Any time when there is the presence of forward and reverse reactions, an equilibrium sign will be used. The rate presented should be equivalent in both directions of the chemical reaction.

gconcha
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby gconcha » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:46 pm

Technically almost every reaction doesn't fully dissociate, and will tend to return to its products at least a small amount. If the reaction lies heavily enough one way or another, then we can usually write an arrow going in just that direction.

Nick Lewis 4F
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby Nick Lewis 4F » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:46 pm

Is it incorrect to use an equilibrium sign for strong acids/ bases?

RobertXu_2J
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby RobertXu_2J » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:51 pm

Use it when there is not a complete reaction in one direction (there is a forward and reveres reaction happening at the same time). While most reactions are reversible (depending on the conditions they take place in), ones where we don't use the equilibrium sign usually occur under extreme conditions.

Chris Charton 1B
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Re: When do we use the equilibrium sign?

Postby Chris Charton 1B » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:51 pm

Although only one arrow is required by strong acids/bases, I don't believe it's incorrect to use the equilibrium sign.


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