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Q and K are calculated in the same way by using the same equation. However, K is a constant that is calculated using the concentrations when the reaction reaches equilibrium while Q changes as the reaction proceeds. Often, we compare Q and K to determine which direction the reaction will continue over time.
Q is known as the reaction quotient and K is known as the equilibrium constant. One important thing to note is that K stays constant for a specific reaction at a specific temperature while Q does not have a predetermined value.
Although Q and K are calculated the same way, the difference is the state of the reaction at the time when this is calculated: Q can be any specific point of time while K must be when the reaction is at equilibrium.
K is the equilibrium constant, while Q is the reaction quotient. They are calculated the same way but you can compare Q and K to determine if the forward reaction or the reverse reaction is favored. If Q<K at some time during the reaction, then reactants are favored. If Q>K at some time during the reaction, then products are favored.
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