A question was closed as duplicate:

What exactly is meant by standard state in thermodynamics?

However, the question it now points to has no answer:

Standard state conditions in thermodynamics

The old question was posed almost 4 years ago, has a score of zero (zero upvotes, zero downvotes) and no answers. If it had a score less than zero or had been closed, it would have been automatically deleted, but it has squeezed by. The two questions are almost identical, so having both doesn't make sense.

However, in the current state, it is unlikely that the person who asked (or folks who google this question) will get an answer on Chemistry StackExchange any time soon.

There is another question about standard states that I posed some time ago, which asks the same question in a more general way, with the understanding that some standard states are hypothetical ones:

How to measure quantities at standard state when this state is a hypothetical one?

This question has an answer that I found helpful.

What is the best course of action in this case (or is it fine to just move on)?

For completeness, there is a related meta question with a scenario where the newer question is answered and the older question is not: What should happen to the unanswered duplicates after a newer duplicate of that question is answered?

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    $\begingroup$ Update: I wrote a short answer to the first question about standard states. It is not comprehensive, but it is a start. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 10:48
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ meta.stackexchange.com/questions/165928: "Whether a question is a duplicate of another is entirely independent of whether it has an answer." So this Meta question is just an announcement that you posted an answer, I'm afraid. Why an answer would suddenly make the identical question not a duplicate and what is the point in target-answering the newer dupe? $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ @andselisk Thanks for the relevant meta post. You cited from one answer. Taken together, the answers show that there are different approaches to deal with unanswered duplicates. It was clear, though, that many answerers appreciate to capability to close as duplicate even if there is no answer. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


If there is only one existing duplicate and this lacks an answer, either Q can be closed. Posting an answer to the Q remaining open (as you did) then solves the problem.

There are a lot of posts involving questions regarding the definition and use of standard states, but these are not necessarily duplicates. In this case the question is due to confusion about the pressure of the components in the standard states versus at equilibrium in a reaction mixture. This is such a common problem that (my guess) if you dug around long enough you would likely find a true duplicate. Unfortunately you may have to dig around for quite a while. A relatively quick survey did not reveal a match. IMHO your answer here does not emphasize the problem at the heart of the matter, which has to do with confusion between reference and equilibrium states. It does however answer the question, but the OP will likely need to think another good while to uncover why they were confused.


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