Does chemical equilibrium mean that the number of product and reactant molecules are the same?

1 Answer
Dec 8, 2016



Dyanamic equilibrium suggests that reactions occur in both the forward and reverse direction.

  • Initially, the forward reaction occurs very quickly and the reverse reaction is non-existent.

  • As products begin to accumulate, the forward reaction slows down (both as the concentration of reactants decreases and they encounter each other less often, but the buildup of products gets in the way causing feedback inhibition)

  • meanwhile, the reverse reaction begins to accelerate, occurring more and more often

  • equilibrium occurs when the rate of a forward reaction is equal to the rate of a reverse reaction

Equilibrium occurs when the relative amounts of products and reactants remains stable because the forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates. The ratio of products to reactants at equilibrium will vary from one reaction to another.