Law of Mass Action

  • Matthias Ruth
  • Bruce Hannon
Part of the Modeling Dynamic Systems book series (MDS)


The law of mass action is a powerful concept that describes the average behavior of a system that consists of many interacting parts, such as molecules, that react with each other, or viruses that are passed along from a population of infected individuals to nonimmune ones. The law of mass action has been derived first for chemical systems but subsequently found high use in epidemiology and ecology. In this chapter, we discuss the law of mass action in the context of a simple chemical system. In later chapters we apply it to issues as diverse as enzyme-substrate interactions, the spread of a disease, or the colonization of landscape patches.


Infected Individual Mass Action Reaction Velocity Initial Stock Longe Time Frame 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Ruth
    • 1
  • Bruce Hannon
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Energy and Environmental Studies and the Department of GeographyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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