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How to work with Dynamic Equilibrium

As you will have learned in science lessons, many chemical reactions are reversible. In these reactions, there is both a forward reaction and a reverse reaction. In closed systems, eventually the forward and reverse reaction rates will be constant. This is called dynamic equilibrium.

Why not have a little break from learning how different factors affect equilibrium position. Instead, read about some amazing chemical reactions in animals!

If you scare or threaten a Bombardier beetle – you unleash a cascade of chemical reactions. This is because the beetle defends itself. It mixes smelly chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide (found in bleach) and hydroquinone together. This results in a highly exothermic reaction, which heats the mixture up to boiling point! The beetle sprays this toxic, boiling concoction at high pressure at whatever scared it. Luckily for us, this only stains and irritates our skin, but will kill smaller animals!

Many deep sea creatures use bioluminescence to see things, as light cannot penetrate more than 60 metres deep. Bioluminescence is a light-producing chemical reaction. It involves an enzyme called luciferase, and chemicals including luciferin, calcium and ATP. This mixture of chemicals reacts with oxygen, and produces light. Organisms need a constant supply of luciferin to keep glowing. Some get this from their diet, some make their own. Fireflies, angler fish, and jellyfish all produce light in this way. Crystal Jelly jellyfish are almost completely transparent., with hundreds of different sized tentacles. Not only are these tentacles loaded with poison, but they light up! When threatened, it activates the organs in its tentacles, and glows a beautiful bluey green colour!

GCSE Scientists – you need to be able to explain what dynamic equilibrium is, and the factors affecting it. For help with this try our new guide “How to work with the Noble Gases”. It includes information on Le Chatelier’s Principle, questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.

Click on the picture below to see the guide.

GCSE powerpoint dynamic equiilbrium

Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects.  New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

If you found this useful and think you would benefit from some additional help, please contact us.

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