What do you read the arrow in a chemical equation as meaning?

1 Answer
Feb 8, 2016


The arrow represents a chemical or physical transformation.


We use the #rarr# to represent a transformation. Most of the time, we conceive the transformation to be quantitative, i.e. for,


we would assume that 1 mole of A combines chemically with 1 mole of B to give 1 mole of C product. We could equally use the right arrow to represent a physical transformation: e.g. ice to water to steam.

#H_2O(s) rarr H_2O(l)#

On the other hand, we could also represent an equilibrium reaction, i.e.

#A+BrightleftharpoonsC+D#, and we could write:

#K_(eq)= ([C][D])/([A][B])#, where #[A]# represents the concentration of reagent #A# etc.

If I have not addressed your question, please refine it, and I (or someone here) will try to do better.