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Both are the reaction quotient, but K is when the reaction is at equilibrium, while Q can represent the reaction quotient at any given moment. If Q is lower than K, then the forward reaction is favored. Similarly, if Q is greater than K, then the reverse reaction is favored.
K is an equilibrium constant at a certain temperature. This represents the ratio between [products] and [reactants] at equilibrium. Q represents the ratio between [products] and [reactants] at any point within the reaction. Therefore, Q=K at equilibrium since the two ratios will be equivalent. If Q is larger than K (Q>K) that would indicate that there is more products in the system than what is seen at equilibrium and would indicate that the reaction would favor the formation of reactants. If Q is smaller than K (Q<K) that would indicate that there are more reactants in the system than at equilibrium, and the system would favor the formation of products.
Hope that helps!
Hope that helps!
Q and K are calculated essentially the same way. However, Q expresses the relative ratio of products to reactants at a given instant not necessarily at equilibrium, which is why you can compare Q and K to determine the direction of a reaction. The reaction shifts right if Q<K, shifts left if Q>K, and is at equilibrium if Q=K.
Q and K both measure the ratio of the concentration of products to concentration of reactants. However, K is a constant and it is the value you get when the mixture is at equilibrium. Q is the same ratio but it is measured at any point during the reaction so it can be compared to K to figure out whether the reaction will favor formation of products or reactants.
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