is the energy released from molecules bonds breaking , just an intangible concept proven by its effects or just vibration ?

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is the energy released from molecules bonds breaking , just an intangible concept proven by its effects or just vibration ?

In: Chemistry

>is the energy released from molecules bonds breaking , just an intangible concept proven by its effects or just vibration ?

I don’t think it’s really clear what you’re asking here. Are you asking “What is energy?”. Yes, it’s a physical property that can be measured. If physical work is performed somewhere then there is energy being transferred.

It’s something else entirely. When an atom “splits” (mainly a radioactive one since they are unstable and more prone to splitting already) it throws neutrons out which have a chance to hit other atoms which will make them split and continue the process in very rapid succession. These multiple rapid splits of atoms amount to trillions of atoms being split almost instantly.

Imagine an atom splitting being a fire cracker. One isn’t bad at all, but trillions all at once is absolutely devastating.

It is tangible, quantifiable rather. Some reactions to break bonds require energy some do not. Exthermic reaction vs endothermic.

Vibration and heat are functionally the same too.

Chemical reactions are all about electrons.

Electrons are bound to atomic nuclei. They are attracted to the positively charged protons and “want” to be as close as possible.

There is a problem, though. Electrons, being fermions, abide by the Pauli’s exclusion principle, which is very simple: they can’t all be in the same place. This means that multiple electrons in an atom have to “pile up” – only 2 of them are at the closest orbit, 4 of them at the next close and so on. They really want to get on top of the nucleus but they can’t, because other electrons are in the way.

Now, if you break a molecule those electrons suddenly are NOT in the same space. You have two molecules, therefore you have two “piles”. Electrons can get into the lowest energy level in BOTH molecules (or atoms). As a result, they lose energy, which is radiated out as photons.

This isn’t always the case, as some molecules allow electrons lower energy levels than separate atoms. Notably H2, O2, N2, the dual atom particles that make up our air.

Judging by your questions in other responses, you ask what is that energy really like?

Well, a molecule splits, it releases a high energy photon. Now that photon can bump into other molecules and allow them to do something they otherwise could not. Enzymes in our bodies are evolved to catch those photons and use them to elevate their electrons into positions that allow different, useful, chemical reactions. AKA life.

Aaaand if you ask, why does an electron shifting orbits release a photon: that’s pretty much the definition of a photon. They are disturbances of electromagnetic fields caused by accelerating charges. An electron changing orbits is an accelerating charge.