How can one determine a rate law?
The rate of a reaction is determined by the concentrations of reactants. In order to experimentally determine a rate law, a series of experiments must be performed with various starting concentrations of reactants. The initial rate law is then measured for each of the reactions. Once the rate law for a reaction is determined, the specific rate constant can be found by substituting the data for any of the experiments into the rate law and solving for the rate constant (k). In order to compare the rates of reaction and determine the order with respect to each reactant, the initial concentration of each reactant must be changed while the other is held constant.