The Tale of Two Atoms
What happens when two atoms interact?
1. What is an atom?
The simple view. Based on the Bohr model of the atom.
2. Electrostatic interactions
Opposite charges attract Like charges repel
3. The sum of the net repulsion and attractions can be graphed.
4. The two atoms form a bond where the attraction is maximized.
5. There are different types of kinetic ienergy on a microscopic level.
KE tot = E trans + E vib + E rot + E elec
6. According to Boltzmann distribution curve, the kinetic energy of a system is distributed among the particles. The average KE of the particles is defined as the temperature of the system.
7. At temperatures above absolute zero molecules will begin to populate vibrational states.
8. The bottom line is that at elevated temperatures the bonds are more likely to break.
After they are broken they are free to form new bonds with other atoms.
That is a
Bond breaking is an
You must put energy into the molecule to cause vibrations large enough to break the bond, i.e. the atoms reach infinite bond distance.
Bond forming is
When two atom fall into the potential well, they go to a lower energy state and the energy is lost to the surroundings.
Observe the following reactions.
Li + H20
Sucrose + Sulfuric Acid