14. Chemical Equilibrium   Previous PageNext Page
       Crabapples and Equilibrium

Doubling the number of apples in the war doubles the rate at which the boy can find and throw them, but also doubles the rate at which the old man can return them. The two effects cancel out in the ratio.

Such a ratio, which is independent of starting conditions or of absolute numbers, is called the equilibrium constant, Keq:

If we know the value of this equilibrium constant, either from past battles or from knowledge of the agility constants, and , then after a standoff has been reached, we can find out how many apples are on the old man's side merely by counting the apples on the boy's side and doing some simple arithmetic.

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