Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their Differences

len Alfred Ajibola - 09th November, 2020 @ 12:37 PM

Topics in Chemistry

Le Chatelier's Principle: Changes in Concentration and Pressure explained in Dynamic Equilibrium Chemical Equilibrium: Dynamic Equilibrium in Chemistry Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their Differences Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Compounds in Chemistry: Characteristics of Compounds Types of Mixture: Homogenous and Heterogeneous Mixtures Mixtures: Characteristics of Mixtures Physical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Chemical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Differences between Physical and Chemical Change Ionic Theory and Electrolysis Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids States of Matter: Characteristics of Solids Liquid State of Matter: Characteristics of Liquids Gaseous State of Matter: Characteristics of Gases Molar Mass, Worked Examples and Differences with Molecular Mass Elements: Characteristics of Elements Salts and Types of Salt in Chemistry

Academic Questions in Chemistry

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The Separating Funnel is a technique used in the separation of mixtures. Another name for Separating Funnel is the _____ Funnel.

  • A. Partition
  • B. Separatory
  • C. Division
  • D. Liquid
  • E. Half
  • F. Dividing

2NH4+(aq) + Ag+(aq) -> 2H4AgN

The equation above represents _____ acid.

  • A. Svante Arrhenius'

  • B. Brønsted–Lowry's

  • C. Gilbert Lewis'

  • D. Avogadro's

  • E. Sir Isaac Newton's

  • F. Albert Einstein's

According to Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry, an acid is defined as _____.

  • A. Any substance that produces hydrogen ion (H+) when dissolved in water

  • B. A substance that accepts electron pair in a chemical reaction

  • C. A substance that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water

  • D. A substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction

  • E. A substance that reacts with a base to form salt and water

  • F. A substance whose hydrogen ions  (H+) are displaced after a reaction with metals higher in the activity, reactivity or electrochemical series

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of chemical change?

  • A. A new thing is formed
  • B. It cannot be easily separated into it's constituents elements
  • C. A new chemical formula accompanies whatever is formed
  • D. The burning of candle is an example of a chemical change
  • E. Blood is an example of a chemical change
  • F. Iron rust is an example of a chemical change

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning a physical change _____.

  • A. Substances formed in a physical change have a unique chemical formula and IUPAC name
  • B. It's a change that is easily reversible
  • C. It's a change that can be separated via an appropriate separation technique
  • D. No new substance is formed
  • E. A mixture of salt and water is a physical change
  • F. Physical change can result to a change in color and shapes of substances

The following substances will sublime EXCEPT _____.

  • A. Sodium Cryolite
  • B. Solid Carbon(IV)oxide
  • C. Arsenic
  • D. Sulphur
  • E. Iodine Crystals
  • F. Naphthalene

Which of the following is a state of matter?

  • A. Ions
  • B. Plasma
  • C. Compounds
  • D. Molecules
  • E. Atoms
  • F. None of the above

The ideal way of separating a mixture of blood is through _____.

  • A. Chromatography
  • B. Fractional Distillation
  • C. Centrifugation
  • D. Filtration
  • E. Separating Funnel
  • F. Fractional Crystallization



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Static Equilibrium vs Dynamic Equilibrium:

In English Language, dynamic means 'changing' while static means 'no movement'.

From a chemist viewpoint, static equilibrium (also called mechanical equilibrium) involves an interacting system or reaction where there isn't any movement of molecules between the reactants and products. Such reaction is said to be complete since the rate of reaction becomes zero.

In chemistry, an instance of static equilibrium is seen when diamond (an allotrope of carbon) is converted to graphite, another allotrope of carbon.

You can read on the concept of allotropes in Dalton's Atomic Theory here.

Graphite is a more stable allotrope of carbon, making it almost impossible to become converted into diamond. However, diamond may still be converted into graphite but at a very high activation energy. To this end, it must be heated above 2000°C before it show signs of convertion (into graphite). This therefore implies that without an application of temperature (heat), the conversion process of diamond into graphite will likely take billions of years at room temperature.

C(s) (diamond) -> C(s) (graphite)

Please read on the concepts of heat and temperature here.

Therefore, we can safely say that both allotropes of carbon (diamond and graphite) exists in static equilibrium because their reaction rate is effectively zero at room temperature.

Note: Static equilibrium is typically unidirectional in nature. In fact, when a unidirectional reaction uses all its limited reactants, static equilibrium is said to be reached because the backward reaction cannot proceed, thus bringing the reaction rate to zero. We can therefore conclude that such reaction is ended at this point.

You can read on compounds and their characteristics here.

In physics, when the forces acting on an object nullifies each other, thus bringing about a constancy of content (that is, content remains the same in composition and without any form of movement), then static equilibrium is said to be reached.

The image shows a system in static equilibrium:
Static equilibrium in seesaw - Len Academy

  • W = Weight
  • r = Distance from the pivot point to where the force was applied (weight)
  • F = Magnitude of the force

You can read on Newton's laws of motion here.

Dynamic equilibrium (also called chemical equilibrium) is defined as a state whereby the rate of forward reaction equals that of the backward reaction even though the movement of substances still occurs between both (reactants and products). In addition, the concentration of the reactants and products remains constant with time while the system shows no further change in properties.

You can read on Le Chatelier's principle here.

Note: Dynamic equilibrium will always occur in a reversible chemical reaction (denoted by ).

The images below shows a summary of how a system in dynamic equilibrium (chemical equilibrium) works:
Dynamic Equilibrium analogy - Len Academy

Dynamic Equilibrium analogy - Len Academy

Please read more on dynamic equilibrium here.

However, since dynamic equilibrium is reversible in nature, it will therefore occur only in closed systems (using chemical reactions as a point of reference); unlike static equilibrium which which may take place in both open and closed systems.

The table below summarizes the differences between static and dynamic equilibrium:

Static Equilibrium Dynamic Equilibrium
The reaction ends. There isn't any further reaction in the system Chemical reaction between the reactants and products are still ongoing at equal rates
It can occur in both open and closed systems It occurs only in closed systems
The reaction is irreversible in static equilibrium The reaction is always reversible in nature
The rate of reaction is zero, thus such reactions are completed The forward and backward reaction rates are always equal
Static equilibrium is always explained in mechanical processes. For this reason, it's also called mechanical equilibrium Dynamic equilibrium is always explained in chemical processes. For this reason, it's also called chemical equilibrium

You can read on the differences between physical and chemical change here.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Chemistry

The only letters that failed to appear on the periodic table are letters:

J     &     Q

Gold and copper are the only two non-silvery colored metals.

Please read some interesting facts about gold here

Copper is the only metal that is naturally antibacterial. This is why you would see some children utilize 'copper' water bottles in schools

Water actually freezes faster when it’s warm than when it’s cold

Most element in their pure state exists physically in different forms. For instance, pure carbon can exist as both diamond and graphite. This phenomenon is called allotropy.

Please read on modification of Dalton's atomic theory here.

If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will go down rather than overflowing the glass.

Similarly, if you mix half liter of water and half litre of alcohol, the total volume of the liquid will be les than one litre


Gold ; Len Academy

Below are some facts about gold

  • It is the only metal that has a gold (golden) color.

  • Gold is present inside the earth crust in all the seven continents.

  • Pure gold is soft and very stretchable (It can even be stretched into threads).

  • The Latin name of Gold is aurum which means 'shining dawn'. For this reason, its chemical symbol is 'Au'.

  • Gold is a very good conductor of electricity. This is why it’s sometimes used in making USB and audio cables.

  • Gold is non toxic and can be eaten with food. It is sometimes added to desserts in some expensive restaurants.

  • The term Gold originated from an ancient English word 'geolu' which means yellow.

  • 24karat gold is the purest gold element.

Please read more interesting facts about gold here

An acid is a substance that produces Hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water (or when in the form of an aqueous solution).

Svante Arrhenius definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction.

Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that accept an electron pair in a chemical reaction.

Gilbert Newton Lewis definition of Acid


Finally, Acids can also be also defined as substances that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water.


In summary, all acids will always contain the positive H+ (cation) and an anionic group in their formula. For instance, the acid HCl (Hydrogen Chloride) contains H+ as cation and Cl- as its anion.

Please read the explanations of the above definitions of acid here