Definitions for equilibrium constant

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. equilibrium constant(noun)

    (chemistry) the ratio of concentrations when equilibrium is reached in a reversible reaction (when the rate of the forward reaction equals the rate of the reverse reaction)

Freebase

  1. Equilibrium constant

    For a general chemical equilibrium the thermodynamic equilibrium constant can be defined such that, at equilibrium, where curly brackets denote the thermodynamic activities of the chemical species. This expression can be derived by considering the Gibbs free energy change for the reaction. If deviations from ideal behaviour are neglected, the activities may be replaced by concentrations, [A], and a concentration quotient, Kc. Kc is defined which is equal to the thermodynamic equilibrium constant divided by a quotient of activity coefficients. For ideal behaviour this quotient has a value of 1, and Kc = K. A knowledge of equilibrium constants is essential for the understanding of many chemical systems, as well as biochemical processes such as oxygen transport by hemoglobin in blood and acid-base homeostasis in the human body. Stability constants, formation constants, binding constants, association constants and dissociation constants are all types of equilibrium constant. See also Determination of equilibrium constants for experimental and computational methods.

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