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When we are using quadratics to find the equilibrium concentration, is it okay to assume that x in our ICE tables for the reactants is very small and thus the initial concentration - x = initial concentration? Or can we only assume this when it is a cubic function?
I believe you are free to make the approximation you mentioned both in quadratics and cubics. The source for my answer is question 5I.29. The equation would have ended up being a quadratic, but the solutions manual displayed usage of the aforementioned approximation.
I believe that as long as x is smaller than 10^-3, you can just use the initial concentration as the equilibrium concentration. And you can use it in both quadratics and cubics.
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