combustion/explosion reactions - anyone have an explanation? I am a layperson, desperately seeking enlightenment! I have been thinking about combustion/explosion reactions and have been trying to build a mental model of the physical processes involved. I can imagine two atoms, let's say carbon and oxygen snapping together. Where does the increase in temperature come from? The only thing I have come up with is, maybe "other" atoms are attached to the carbon and/or oxygen before the reaction occurs. They get pulled along until the C and O snap hard together, and break loose from the collision. Like people getting thrown from crashing cars. So these "thrown" atoms contain all of the new released energy. Thanks in advance anybody who can help!