The quantum casino: simulations
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The approach to equilibrium

A reversible reaction has two reactions, forward and back occurring at the same time. Under certain circumstances, this may result in a situation where the amounts of reactants and products remain the same (‘an equilibrium mixture’) even though both forward and back reactions are still continuing. This simulation models this in an extremely simple way by modifying the Entropy and disorder simulation so that the intrinsic rates of forward and back reactions (ie the probability of A converting to B or B converting to A) can be varied. [The ‘intrinsic rate’ is essentially related to the rate constant of the reaction, but it may not be helpful to use this terminology at this point.]

The simulation makes no attempt to model a real chemical situation (although it is analogous to an isomerisation reaction).

Set intrinsic rates:



At equilibrium (ie when the numbers of particles in each box remains constant) the number of particles moving from left to right in a given time period must be equal to the number moving from right to left. If the intrinsic L  R rate is greater than the intrinsic R  L rate, then this will result in more particles in the right hand box once equilibrium is reached.

The quantum casino