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Kinetics, Complex Reactions, Approximations

  1. Mar 18, 2013 #1
    I wasn't sure where to ask this question as I don't know where else to make requests like this, so I thought I would go here. Please feel free to move it to a more appropriate forum if there is one.

    My syllabus states the following point:


    Analysis of complex reactions using steady-state and quasi-equilibrium approximations, mechanisms of catalytic reactions, determination of reaction order and activation energy for complex reactions

    The main point of emphasis are the steady-state and quasi-equilibrium approximations, using mechanisms of complex and catalytic reactions (deducing these from rate data and equations, and deducing rate data, equations and energy diagram shapes for these), and drawing reaction energy diagrams for complex reactions and determining data from that such as activation energies, enthalpies and reaction order (reaction order must also be possible to deduce from the reactions alone, including using approximations to find overall rate equations given just the reactions for each step of your complex reaction). Up to three reactions occurring in tandem (or 3 steps in your complex reaction) may be required, with any or all being equilibria and with some species in multiple reactions.


    Does anyone know any online resources where I could learn the theory behind this and perhaps take on some nice, applied problems regarding this material? Or even if I will find this all in detail in an advanced undergraduate physical chemistry textbook (e.g. Physical Chemistry by McQuarrie and Simons')?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2013 #2


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    Having met you on a thread I would say that an advanced undergraduate physical chemistry textbook is exactly what you need! :biggrin:

    Note that kinetics, IMO anyway, is hardly a specialist subject in itself, it is just an important part of the mental baggage and standard approaches of people exploring chemical and biochemical mechanism. When you have absorbed the material from a physical chemistry book (in which kinetics is by no means the most difficult part) it will be time to ask again about any more advanced resources.
  4. Mar 19, 2013 #3
    OK - do you have a book to recommend which would cover the details I listed above (whilst still remaining general and broad to physical chemistry at the advanced undergrad level)?
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