Sur un énoncé général des lois des équilibres chimiques" in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de L'Academie des Sciences, Tome 99, 1884, pp. 786-789

Le Chatelier, Henri Louis

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FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST STATEMENT OF LE CHATELIER'S RENOWNED EQUILIBRIUM PRINCIPLE, also know as the Equilibrium Law. Le Chatelier's principle is the first explanation of how a chemical system at equilibrium changes when conditions change. The principle is so widely true that it is known by a variety of names depending upon the discipline employing it; for example: in biology, it is known as homeostasis. "In chemistry, the principle is used to manipulate the outcomes of reversible reactions, often to increase the yield of reactions. Inpharmacology, the binding of ligands to the receptor may shift the equilibrium according to Le Châtelier's principle, thereby explaining the diverse phenomena of receptor activation and desensitization.In economics, the principle has been generalized to help explain the price equilibrium of efficient economic systems. In simultaneous equilibrium systems, phenomena that are in apparent contradiction to Le Châtelier's principle can occur; these can be resolved by the theory of response reactions" (Wikipedia). Of Le Chatelier's Principle, Linus Pauling wrote: "It is fortunate that there is a general qualitative principle, called Le Chatelier's principle, that relates to all the applications of the principles of chemical equilibrium. When you have obtained a grasp of Le Chatelier's principle, simple argument, to make a qualitative statement about it" (Pauling, College Chemistry, 437). "Equilibrium mixtures respond to external attempts to change the concentrations of their components. When a change in the concentration of one substance is made, the concentrations of all the other substances involved in the equilibrium will also change. The response of equilibrium systems to changes of concentration, pressure, and temperature was first summed up by Henri Le Chatelier in 1888. Le Chatelier's principle has important implications" (Clugston, Advanced Chemistry, 168). Le Chatelier's principle states: "If a system at equilibrium is subjected to a small change, the equilibrium tends to shift so as to minimize the effect of the change. Chatelier's Principle implies that changing the concentration of one substance causes a shift in the position of equilibrium which tends to minimize the change" (ibid). Another way to explain this is that "a stress in just a change in conditions such as temperature or pressure. The equilibrium shifts to the right or left to relieve the stress placed on the system" (Myers, The Basics of Chemistry, 149). CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete full volume. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1884, Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de L'Academie des Sciences, 99. 1210pp. Entire volume. Ex-libris bearing only a deaccessioned stamp on the back of the title page and slight ghosting at the spine where a spine label has been removed. Bound in clean full blue cloth, gilt-lettered at the spine. Solidly and tightly bound. Clean and bright throughout. Bookseller Inventory # 653

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