kinet_02172011_part1 - Reaction Kinetics Elementary Ideas...

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Reaction Kinetics: Elementary Ideas 10th February 2010 1 Introduction Chemical equilibrium deals with chemical systems at equilibrium : that is, concentrations (and thus amounts) of chemical species do not change with time. Chemical reaction kinetics attempts to describe the way a non-equilibrium system changes with time in order to achieve chemical equilibrium (of course, with this is tied thermal, mechanical equilibrium) To reiterate: 1. thermodynamics tells us whether the free energetcis associated with a chemical transformation dictates whether the transformation occurs. 2. kinetics tells us how fast (what is the rate) of that transformation towards an equilibrium state. (what is the concentration of a specie(s) as a function of time) 2 Reaction Rates Consider a generic represenation of a chemical reaction: aA + bB cC + dD We want to know the amount of A, B, C, and D as the process moves along. Let’s consider some ”reaction extent” variable (an abstraction to al-
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