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I remember in the lecture that Dr. Lavelle said K=1 was rare. Why is it rare? I get that it means that neither R or P is favored since it is in the range of 10^-3 and 10^3. But why is that specific value rare? Might not be important but I'm curious
I think K=1 is specifically rare because this means that the concentration of reactants and of products are equal at equilibrium, so no change is happening in the concentrations of the species. This is what makes K=1 so different.
K = 1 implies that the reactants and products basically have the same concentration/pressure. I think this is a rare case because most scenarios have reactants and products produce different values so to get them to be exactly the same is very unlikely.
Hi! Like others have mentioned above, when the equilibrium constant is 1, the concentration/pressure of the products and reactants will be equal. To my understanding, this just happens to be rare because there is usually a tendency for reactions to favor one direction over another.
K=1 means that reactants and products literally have the same concentration. Lavalle describes this as rare because think about how rare that has to be that they are perfectly the same, and in terms of the reaction, it is hard for the reaction to flow and create a product or vice versa. Also, means it basically equilibrium and flowing at a constant rate of both the reaction and reverse.
Aaron Akhavan-Dis1B wrote:I remember in the lecture that Dr. Lavelle said K=1 was rare. Why is it rare? I get that it means that neither R or P is favored since it is in the range of 10^-3 and 10^3. But why is that specific value rare? Might not be important but I'm curious
I think most others have brought up good, accurate points, but an interesting philosophical take on this is that k=1 isn't necessarily super rare, but rather that it is just as rare as most other equilibrium constants. However, since we (as a people) are interested and fixated on k=1 (as opposed to k=0.00000543 or k=5847873), since it is a base-10 number (and has the curious implication of equality in products and reactants), then it is worth noting that k=1 is rare. Arbitrarily, I could say that k=7 is rare, but that isn't interesting to people and so we don't focus on it.
However, I would like to reiterate that it is worth noting that the occurrence of exactly equal concentrations of products and reactants at equilibrium is said to be rare because of the intuitive contradiction that there would be anything equal between two very different sets (products and reactants) of compounds after chemical reaction.
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