What Is an Equilibrium Arrow?


Quick Answer

An equilibrium arrow is a double-headed arrow or a double arrow that indicates that both reverse and forward processes are to be factored in, unlike the one-headed arrows used in chemical reactions.

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Full Answer

According to The Pennsylvania State University, a chemical equilibrium, written just as a normal chemical reaction, is written with products on the right and reactants on the left. The symbol representing the equilibrium arrow is (?). The top arrow has its head pointing to the right, while the bottom arrow has its head pointing to the left.

One example of an equilibrium equation is: hydrogen plus iodine on the left side as it reacts to form hydrogen iodide on the right side. This is written as H2 (g) + I2 (g) ? 2 HI (g).

The Journal of Economic Literature, Arrow and General Equilibrium Theory, states that a dynamic equilibrium is a situation where there is no net change; it appears as if nothing is happening, but in actuality chemical reactions are rapidly taking place. These reactions occur opposite one another to a point where the net change appears as no change at all.

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