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

Feb 8, 2016

The arrow represents a chemical or physical transformation.

#### Explanation:

We use the $\rightarrow$ to represent a transformation. Most of the time, we conceive the transformation to be quantitative, i.e. for,

$A + B \rightarrow C$

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.

${H}_{2} O \left(s\right) \rightarrow {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$

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

$A + B r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s C + D$, and we could write:

${K}_{e q} = \frac{\left[C\right] \left[D\right]}{\left[A\right] \left[B\right]}$, where $\left[A\right]$ represents the concentration of reagent $A$ etc.

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