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Ch.7 Energy, Rate and EquilibriumWorksheetSee all chapters
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Ch.1 Matter and Measurements
Ch.2 Atoms and the Periodic Table
Ch.3 Ionic Compounds
Ch.4 Molecular Compounds
Ch.5 Classification & Balancing of Chemical Reactions
Ch.6 Chemical Reactions & Quantities
Ch.7 Energy, Rate and Equilibrium
Ch.8 Gases, Liquids and Solids
Ch.9 Solutions
Ch.10 Acids and Bases
Ch.11 Nuclear Chemistry
BONUS: Lab Techniques and Procedures
BONUS: Mathematical Operations and Functions
Nature of Energy
First Law of Thermodynamics
Endothermic & Exothermic Reactions
Bond Energy
Thermochemical Equations
Heat Capacity
Thermal Equilibrium (Simplified)
Hess's Law
Rate of Reaction
Energy Diagrams
Chemical Equilibrium
The Equilibrium Constant
Le Chatelier's Principle
Solubility Product Constant (Ksp)
Spontaneous Reaction
Entropy (Simplified)
Gibbs Free Energy (Simplified)

Thermodynamics is the branch of physical science concerned with heat and its transformations to and from other forms of energy. 

Spontaneous & Nonspontaneous Reactions

Concept #1: Understanding Spontaneity


Hey guys, in this new video, we're going to take a look at thermal chemical processes. We're going to say that the section of physical science concerned with the transformation of heat and other forms of energy from one type to another is called thermodynamics. What we're going to say here is when it comes to a chemical reaction, just realize, sometimes they occur, other times they don't. It's really based on the conditions at the moment that a chemical reaction can or won't happen. What we're going to say is this chapter is concerned with one keyword – spontaneous. Is a reaction spontaneous or is a reaction non-spontaneous? The deeper into this chapter we get into, we’re going to learn that there are certain variables such as delta G, delta S and even k. All of these together in some way help to determine if a reaction is spontaneous or not.
When we say spontaneous, just remember, we're going to say a reaction that requires no outside energy source is classified as a natural process. Think about it. Let's think of a boulder, a huge rock, rolling down a hill. We're going to say that huge boulder doesn't require any type of energy to roll down that hill. It's using its own momentum in order to do that. We're going to say that since it doesn't require any type of energy for it to happen, then it's a spontaneous reaction. On the flip side, let's say we have a reaction where we have to continuously feed it energy in order for it to occur. If you're supplying a continuous amount of energy to something, we're going to classify it as a non-spontaneous reaction. We're going to say non-spontaneous reactions are unnatural. They constantly need energy for them to occur. Let's say we want to run our car. Our car cannot spontaneously run itself without any type of energy. We have to give it a battery, we have to give it gasoline. Without these sources of energy, the car can’t ignite and start off and move on its own. Just remember, the movement of a car will be classified as a non-spontaneous reaction.
Just remember, spontaneity deals with thermodynamics. We're shifting our reaction from one side to another in a balanced equation. But remember, spontaneous has nothing to do with kinetics. Kinetics deals with speed. A spontaneous reaction could take a minute to occur, it could take a million years to occur. The fact that it occurs without the need of outside energy makes it a spontaneous reaction. The length of time it takes for it to happen has nothing to do with if it’s spontaneous or not. Knowing this, let's take a look at the first example.
Here it says: Which of the following statements is not true? We're going to say the reverse of a spontaneous reaction is always non-spontaneous. Just remember, we're talking about thermodynamics here. Thermodynamics deals with shifting of reaction, so we go in both directions. We can go in the forward direction or we can go in the reverse direction. Just remember, if you're spontaneous in one direction, then you would be non-spontaneous in the reverse. The first one is true. Next, we're going to say a spontaneous reaction always moves towards equilibrium. Again, we're talking about thermodynamics. Thermodynamics deals with equilibrium. We're going to say if a reaction is spontaneous, it wants to get to equilibrium because when you’re at equilibrium, you’re balanced. Everything is copacetic. Everything is good. We're going to say here a spontaneous reaction does move towards equilibrium.
Next, a highly spontaneous reaction can occur at a fast or a slow rate. We're going to say, like we said before, spontaneity has nothing to do with kinetics. A spontaneous reaction could take a minute to happen or it could take a million years to happen. The fact that it can happen makes it a spontaneous reaction. Spontaneous reactions occur. This leaves us with our last choice here. Here it says that it’s possible to create a non-spontaneous reaction. This might seem weird but non-spontaneous reactions are again unnatural. They do not occur. We can supply constant energy to something, but once you take away that energy source, the reaction is going to cease. It's going to stop. It's not going to continue. When we say it is not possible to create a non-spontaneous reaction, what we're saying here is I can't create something and then take away the energy and expect it to continue to happen. That's what this sentence is really saying. So, D would be false. We cannot create a non-spontaneous reaction. Once I have a non-spontaneous, for it to continue to occur, I need to constantly feed it energy. Once I take away that energy, it no longer happens. I really can't create a non-spontaneous reaction because you cannot supply energy forever towards a reaction. You don't have enough sources to do that.
Seeing how we answer these questions, I want you guys to attempt to do the next one on your own. Just remember, thinking about it in your head in order to answer the question. Does this happen in real life? If it happens in real life, it's most likely a spontaneous reaction. If it doesn't quite make sense, “This shouldn't happen. My car shouldn't just start on its own and drive itself home without the use of a battery or gasoline”, then you're going to say that’s a non-spontaneous reaction. Again, natural processes occur. Natural processes are spontaneous. Unnatural processes don't occur in real life. They don't make any sense for them to happen. Those are non-spontaneous. Use that type of logic in order to solve this practice question.

A reaction that requires no outside energy source is classified as a natural process and is spontaneous. 

A reaction that requires a continuous energy source to happen is classified as an unnatural process and is nonspontaneous. 

Practice: Which of the following statements is/are true?

a) The rusting of iron by oxygen is a non-spontaneous reaction.

b) The addition of a catalyst to a reaction increases spontaneity.

c) The movement of heat from a cold object to a hot object is a non-spontaneous reaction.

d) The diffusion of perfume molecules from one side of a room to the other is a non-spontaneous reaction.

e) None of the above.