13.14 4th edition
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J. W. Hill, R. H. Petrucci, T. W. McCreary, & S. S. Perry General Chemistry, 4th edition.

Review Question 13.14.

What are the chief requirements that must be met by a plausible reaction mechanism? Why do we say "plausible" mechanism rather than "correct" mechanism?






Answer:

A reaction mechanism must meet two criteria. 1) The sum of all of the steps in the mechanism must match the observed reaction, i.e., the stoichiometry of the reaction must be satisfied. 2) The reaction mechanism must account for the experimentally observed rate law.

Reaction mechanisms are considered "plausible" rather than "correct" because different sequences of elementary reactions may meet the two requirements.