Ch.14 - Chemical EquilibriumWorksheetSee all chapters
All Chapters
Ch.1 - Intro to General Chemistry
Ch.2 - Atoms & Elements
Ch.3 - Chemical Reactions
BONUS: Lab Techniques and Procedures
BONUS: Mathematical Operations and Functions
Ch.4 - Chemical Quantities & Aqueous Reactions
Ch.5 - Gases
Ch.6 - Thermochemistry
Ch.7 - Quantum Mechanics
Ch.8 - Periodic Properties of the Elements
Ch.9 - Bonding & Molecular Structure
Ch.10 - Molecular Shapes & Valence Bond Theory
Ch.11 - Liquids, Solids & Intermolecular Forces
Ch.12 - Solutions
Ch.13 - Chemical Kinetics
Ch.14 - Chemical Equilibrium
Ch.15 - Acid and Base Equilibrium
Ch.16 - Aqueous Equilibrium
Ch. 17 - Chemical Thermodynamics
Ch.18 - Electrochemistry
Ch.19 - Nuclear Chemistry
Ch.20 - Organic Chemistry
Ch.22 - Chemistry of the Nonmetals
Ch.23 - Transition Metals and Coordination Compounds

Solution: In equilibrium problems involving equilibrium constants that are small relative to the initial concentrations of reactants, we can often assume that the quantity x (which represents how far the reacti

Problem

In equilibrium problems involving equilibrium constants that are small relative to the initial concentrations of reactants, we can often assume that the quantity x (which represents how far the reaction proceeds toward products) is small. When this assumption is made, the quantity x can be ignored when it is subtracted from a large number, but not when it is multiplied by a large number. In other words, 2.5 - x ≈ 2.5, but 2.5x ≠ 2.5. Explain why a small x can be ignored in the first case, but not in the second.