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Chemistry LibreTexts

14.E: Exercises

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  • 14.7: Reaction Kinetics: A Summary

    Conceptual Problems

    1. Compare first-order differential and integrated rate laws with respect to the following. Is there any information that can be obtained from the integrated rate law that cannot be obtained from the differential rate law?
    1. the magnitude of the rate constant
    2. the information needed to determine the order
    3. the shape of the graphs
    1. In the single-step, second-order reaction 2A → products, how would a graph of [A] versus time compare to a plot of 1/[A] versus time? Which of these would be the most similar to the same set of graphs for A during the single-step, second-order reaction A + B → products? Explain.
    1. For reactions of the same order, what is the relationship between the magnitude of the rate constant and the reaction rate? If you were comparing reactions with different orders, could the same arguments be made? Why?


    1. For a given reaction under particular conditions, the magnitude of the first-order rate constant does not depend on whether a differential rate law or an integrated rate law is used.
    2. The differential rate law requires multiple experiments to determine reactant order; the integrated rate law needs only one experiment.
    3. Using the differential rate law, a graph of concentration versus time is a curve with a slope that becomes less negative with time, whereas for the integrated rate law, a graph of ln[reactant] versus time gives a straight line with slope = −k. The integrated rate law allows you to calculate the concentration of a reactant at any time during the reaction; the differential rate law does not.
    1. The reaction rate increases as the rate constant increases. We cannot directly compare reaction rates and rate constants for reactions of different orders because they are not mathematically equivalent.

    Numerical Problems

    1. One method of using graphs to determine reaction order is to use relative rate information. Plotting the log of the relative rate versus log of relative concentration provides information about the reaction. Here is an example of data from a zeroth-order reaction:
    Relative [A] (M) Relative Rate (M/s)
    1 1
    2 1
    3 1

    Varying [A] does not alter the reaction rate. Using the relative rates in the table, generate plots of log(rate) versus log(concentration) for zeroth-, first- and second-order reactions. What does the slope of each line represent?

    1. The table below follows the decomposition of N2O5 gas by examining the partial pressure of the gas as a function of time at 45°C. What is the reaction order? What is the rate constant? How long would it take for the pressure to reach 105 mmHg at 45°C?
    Time (s) Pressure (mmHg)
    0 348
    400 276
    1600 156
    3200 69
    4800 33