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Chemistry LibreTexts

3.3: The Rate Law

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  • In studying a chemical reaction, it is important to consider not only the chemical properties of the reactants, but also the conditions under which the reaction occurs, the mechanism by which it takes place, the rate at which it occurs, and the equilibrium toward which it proceeds. According to the law of mass action, the rate of a chemical reaction at a constant temperature depends only on the concentrations of the substances that influence the rate. The substances that influence the rate of reaction are usually one or more of the reactants, but can occasionally include products. Catalysts, which do not appear in the balanced overall chemical equation, can also influence reaction rate. The rate law is experimentally determined and can be used to predict the relationship between the rate of a reaction and the concentrations of reactants.

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