What Is Spontaneous Reaction?

By | May 22, 2017

Many students find it difficult to understand the concept of spontaneous reaction. Those who find it tough can benefit from hiring a private tutor who will explain it with real life examples. In this article, we will try and simplify the concept to help you get a better understanding of it.

According to many people, the term ‘spontaneous reaction’ refers to the speed of the reaction that is being discussed. However, this concept is completely wrong. Contrary to what is believed, a spontaneous reaction does not actually take place at a very high speed. When you study a few examples, you will realize that there are some cases where the speed is so slow, as much as a million years. The decaying of diamond for example, is a suitable illustration for this kind of slow reaction.

The rate of reaction basically is not quite dependent on the spontaneity, but is actually based on the chemical kinetics. It is a type of reaction that occurs on its own, without any involvement of the external factors to assist it. This can also be defined as the time evolution of a system through which it releases free-energy and shifts to a lower, but more stable state of energy.

If put simply this is a process that persists on its own, without the help of any external force to help it. Sometimes, in rare cases there might be an outside influence that may be needed at the beginning of this process. But, after it starts, it goes on its own. This is quite dissimilar to the non spontaneous reaction where some of the external factors take part to ensure that the process continues.

The concept of spontaneous reaction in chemistry; is much popular in situation of the endothermic and exothermic reactions. Most of these reactions that we observe are actually exothermic, which is usually accompanied with the evolution of heat. Having said that, there also exists some endothermic reactions that are followed by the absorption of heat energy.

In everyday life, there are many obvious spontaneous reactions that take place. The best example of all is the slow rusting of iron nail. When observed closely, you will realize that it happens because the external factors come into play. Other examples include burning of wood, combustion of hydrogen, dissolving of ammonium nitrate in water, and so on. To get a better understanding of the subject, you can consider hiring a private math tutor today.

Source by Umesh Kumar M

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