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Chemical Equilibrium - Le Chatelier’s Principle

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Lesson Focus

Chemical Equilibrium - Le Chatelier’s Principle


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You will investigate the relationships among temperature, pressure, concentration, and catalysts on chemical equilibrium.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain that a system can shift its equilibrium between product and reactant sides of the chemical equation.
  • Define Le Chatelier’s principle, which predicts the effect of a change in temperature, concentration, or pressure on a system at equilibrium.
  • Correctly predict what will happen to the concentration of products if the concentration of reactants is changed.
  • Correctly predict what will happen to the equilibrium of a system if the temperature is changed.
  • Correctly predict what will happen to the equilibrium of a system if the pressure is changed.

Everything You'll Have Covered

When a chemical reaction has reached equilibrium, it is a moment where the rates of the forward and the backward reactions are equal. Multiple exterior factors can cause this equilibrium to shift to favor the rate of the forward reaction or the rate of the backward reaction. These external factors are referred to as stresses on the reaction in Le Chatelier's principle. Le Chatelier's principle provides an explanation to the observations made when changes in external factor affect the equilibrium of a reaction. Le Chatelier's principle provides explanations to the results of changes for temperature, pressure, reaction amounts, and how these altering amounts will affect the direction of the reaction. In other words, it provides a means to predict if a stress favors the production of reaction products or reactants.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Learners should be familiar with balancing reactions and rates of reaction.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary catalyst, chemical reaction, concentration