Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Simple Rate Law Question

  1. Nov 26, 2011 #1
    So say if someone is referring to a "second-order reaction", are they referring to the overall order of reaction being 2? So two reactants could have an order of 1, or one reactant could have an order of 2, and the other have an order of 0?

    So say you have a rate equation that looks like this: r = k[x]^1[y]^1

    Would this graph be a linear line? or would it be a curve?

    So pretty much what I'm asking is if someone says "second order reaction" are they referring to the overall order of reaction, or the order of reaction relative to one of the reactants.

    Thx in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Without further clarification it usually means overall. Sometimes you may hear it said like "first order in X", then it is not overall, but relative to reactant X. So for example "reaction is first order in X and first order in Y, second order overall".
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook