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I understand that when you decrease volume, the side with more moles becomes more crowded and "bumps into each other" more often, which is why the reaction then favors the side with fewer moles. But can someone help me visualize why when you increase volume, the side with more moles is favored? Why would the reaction shift to a side that has more moles?
Volume and pressure are inversely related. When volume increases, pressure decreases, which is also an altered state of the system that needs to be corrected by Le Chatelier's principle. The system increases pressure back to its original amount by favoring the side of the reaction with more moles, so there are more molecule-molecule interactions.
The reaction responds in such a way that minimizes the effect of a pressure change, so increasing volume (decreasing pressure) in a system with more moles on one side will favor that same side.
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