Rock, Peter A. Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, California.
Vanderzee, Cecil E. Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
- Chemical potential
- Activity and standard states
- Equilibrium constant
- Homogeneous equilibria
- Heterogeneous equilibria
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
In a dynamic or kinetic sense, chemical equilibrium is a condition in which a chemical reaction is occurring at equal rates in its forward and reverse directions, so that the concentrations of the reactant and product substances do not change with time. In a thermodynamic sense, it is the condition in which there is no tendency for the composition of the system to change. From the viewpoint of statistical mechanics, the equilibrium state places the system in a condition of maximum freedom (or minimum restraint) compatible with the energy, volume, and composition of the system. The statistical approach has been merged with thermodynamics into a field called statistical thermodynamics; this merger has been of immense value for its intellectual stimulus, as well as for its practical contributions to the study of equilibria. See also: Chemical thermodynamics; Statistical mechanics
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