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Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:38 pm
What exactly does it mean for a reaction to be irreversible? I know the definition with the infinitely small changes but that doesn't quite make sense to me on a conceptual basis.
Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:46 pm
A reversible reaction is basically when the reactants form products that, in turn, react together to give the reactants back. It is shown by the two way arrows usually.
Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:49 pm
I think of reversible as the example lavelle showed us in class. If you have a gas in a chamber and the gas pushes against a piston, it willpush it until a new volume is set so the piston stops moving and the gas stops pushing against that piston. In this process, the external pressure is constant and no matter what, the system will not go to its initial state. it's done moving and everything is set. This is an irreversible process
In a reversible process, the gas in the chamber pushes against a piston but after a while of pushing, it can go back to its initial state. Think of the volume level of the gas going up and down like pumping air into a tire with a bicycle pump. Your entire setup or the reversible process is the bicycle pump going up and down.
Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:52 pm
A reaction is reversible because the infinitely small changes allow for the energy which is being used up, to be replaced with heat that is entering the system as it changes ever so slightly. The reaction is so slow, it is able to stay at equilibrium. An irreversible reaction, however, is one which occurs spontaneously meaning that the reaction is losing energy and nothing is coming in to replace it. Once it has expanded, it can not go back.
Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:53 pm
A irreversible process is where the system will not go back to its initial state, no matter what factors are changed.