posted by Bobby on .
The overall rate of any chemical reaction is most closely related to
a) the number of steps in the reaction mechanism
b)the overall reaction
c) the fastest step in the reaction mechanism
d)the slowest step in the reaction mechanism
e) the average rate of all the steps in the reaction mechanism
Would you think d is the answer?
No, I was thinking of e...
Stick with me on my reasoning. The slow step is the one setting the tempo. If the reaction consists of a slow step and a fast step, the rate will depend upon how long it takes for the slow step because when that is finished the reaction then goes to the fast step and is finished immediately. Two fast steps and it depends upon the slowest, not the fastest. I wouldn't think an average would enter into the picture. An example, suppose the slow step is 1 minute and the fast step is 1 sec. How long will it take? It will take 1 min and 1 sec, not the average of 61 seconds (30.5 seconds). The average is faster than the slowest step.