Evening all.. I was wondering whether anyone could help me with something that has been bugging me for a long while and I haven’t yet managed to get a decent answer…
Exactly why is it that some endothermic reactions get colder??
Now Ive seen all the usual explanations like “because it draws heat from the surroundings”… etc. But that for me isnt an answer, all it is, is a rough definition of an endothermic reaction, not an explanation of the mechanics.
I know enthalpy is a combination of kinetic and potential energy and that as one of them increases the other decreases. I also understand that temperature is a function of kinetic energy.
So here are my queries…
If the system is getting colder then the amount of kinetic energy the reactants have must be decreasing
Endothermic reactions typically have a significant EA and thus energy absorbed from the surroundings must go to increasing the potential energy of the reactants in order for the reaction to proceed
What is the mechanism for the reduction of the K.E of the reactants? Is it caused by a flow of heat from the kinetic aspects of the compound to being used to break bonds and therefore via conversion, increasing the potential energy of the compound?
Do reactants in endothermic reactions, therefore, have low levels of P.E but high levels of K.E, and thus similarly do reactants in exothermic reactions have high levels of P.E but low levels of K.E?
What exactly are the changes going on in PE and KE during an endothermic reaction?
For an exothermic reaction (burning a piece of paper) I have written my explanation (please do give me feedback if Im wrong!) If anyone could give me an equivalent for an endothermic reaction I would be hugely grateful (and kudos for solving my 2 year itch!!)