Interactive model, with minimal support
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An exothermic reaction evolves heat. The heat energy comes from the chemical energy stored in the bonds. If more stable bonds are formed after the reaction, the energy difference between the newly formed bonds and the previous ones will be liberated as thermal energy. The heat evolved in an individual reaction is then transferred into kinetic energy, which can be delivered to other molecules in the system through collisions.
Having gained energy, the molecules have a better chance of overcoming the activation barriers, a condition which subsequently results in more reaction and more release of energy. If the amount of energy released is large enough in a certain period of time, this will initiate an avalanche, which ultimately becomes visible as an explosion at the macroscopic level.
An explosion can happen when the energy released in an initial reaction activates additional reactions.
Additional Related Concepts
An explosion caused by raising temperature, ignition, light induction, and the introduction of a few free radicals all can be modeled easily with this simple model.
Last Update: 12/07/2015
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