Chemical Equilibrium -- What Are the Characteristics of Equilibrium Reactions?

Cheryl Coolidge, Colby-Sawyer College, New London NH
Author Profile
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


In this Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum activity, students create spreadsheets to examine the time course of a reaction that goes to completion and compare it to the time course of a reaction that reaches equilibrium. Students input both the rates of the forward and the reverse reactions into the spreadsheets and study the relationship between relative reaction rates and the extent of reaction completion.

Learning Goals

Students will: In the process the students will:

Context for Use

This module is intended for use in an introductory chemistry course for science majors, typically during the second semester of a year-long course. It is also appropriate for an AP chemistry course.

Description and Teaching Materials

SSAC2005.QD450.GCC1.1-student (PowerPoint 388kB May27 10)

The module is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded spreadsheets. If the embedded spreadsheets are not visible, save the PowerPoint file to disk and open it from there.

This PowerPoint file is the student version of the module. An instructor version is available by request. The instructor version includes the completed spreadsheet. Send your request to Len Vacher ( by filling out and submitting the Instructor Module Request Form.

Teaching Notes and Tips

The module is constructed to be a stand-alone resource. It can be used as a homework assignment or lab activity. It can also be used as the basis of an interactive classroom activity.


The last two slides are an end-of-module assignment that can be used for assessment.

References and Resources

See more SSAC General Collection Modules »