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Activation energy?

  1. Jun 4, 2004 #1
    What makes compound,lets say oxygen and hydrogen explosive?I think electrones are loosing energy but I"m not so sure.How this all works?.Please help me.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2004 #2
    It's because hydrogen and oxygen can form water which is a very stable molecule. Hydrogen and oxygen require a spark to ignite, ie. they need a little bit of energy to push them towards water. That's the activation enegry. Once they pass this, they let go of A LOT of energy because water has much lower energy than hydrogen and water. THis energy is given off as light and sound, explosion. A spark starts off with converting like a million molecules of H2 and O2 to water, and then proceeds to give energy to the remaining 10^15 or whatever. Makes sense I hope. I'm eating and can't wait for the next bite while typing this.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2004 #3
    I guess you are right , but to make things clear electrons are the main culprits in all reactions right.?Thanks for your help man, I have to catch the bus.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2004 #4

    GCT

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    In this case thinkk of bond energies, bond formation results in exothermic reactions. Which bonds are being broken and which are being formed? Also, what is the ratio of molar equivalence of the product vs the reactants.


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  6. Jun 4, 2004 #5
    Yes and no. The electrons by themselves wouldn't do this - you need to have a nucleus around so that there's a bound system. It's the electrostatic interaction of the electrons with nuclei that is the source of chemical bond energies.
     
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