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Q is the ratio between products and reactants that is found when the reaction has not yet reached equilibrium. K is the ratio when the reaction is already at equilibrium. Therefore, we can use Q to see which way the reaction will proceed.
Q is the reaction quotient and is calculated at any time during a reaction. Q will change as time passes. Q and K are similar except that K is the value when the reaction is at equilibrium. If Q>K, the reverse reaction is favored, and if Q<K, the forward reaction is favored. IF Q=K, the both reverse and forward are occurring at the same rate.
Q and K are solved in the same way, however, K is the equilibrium constant by definition, while Q is the reaction quotient which can be found at any point in the reaction timeline, and based on whether Q is less than, greater than, or equal to K predictions about the reactions future can be made.
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