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Reversible reactions are ones that can be reversed by an infinitely small change in a variable. In all of the problems we have done thus far, you were able to tell a reaction was reversible because the external pressure equaled the internal pressure. Because both pressures are equal, a change in either would cause either compression or expansion (corresponding to an increase in external pressure of an increase in internal pressure). In an irreversible reaction, the pressures of the two would be much farther apart so that a minute change would not change the direction in which the piston would be moving.
Reversible reactions contain the symbol, ⇌, indicating that the reaction can proceed in either direction.
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