The rate constant and the reaction orders must be determined experimentally by observing how the rate of a reaction changes as the concentrations of the reactants are changed. One way to do this is via the method of initial rates. To use this method, select two sets of rate data where all concentrations but one are the same and set up a ratio of the two rates and the two rate laws. This will yield an equation that contains only one unknown: the reaction order of the substance whose concentration varies.
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