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I was wondering if someone could help explain the example that Dr. Lavelle gave in class when discussing the reaction from N2 to 2N. I understand that N2 is more stable and therefore it is favored, but then how does that make the reaction endothermic? Thanks!
This reaction is breaking the N2 bond to form 2N atoms. Breaking bonds require heat making this reaction endothermic.
Since N2 is more stable, it's triple bond is pretty strong. Breaking that bond requires the addition of heat, while forming bonds releases heat. In this example, the product has a higher enthalpy (or energy) so the enthalpy change is positive, and thus, the reaction is exothermic.
The N2 bonds are broken which requires heat making it an endothermic reaction.
A good mnemonic to remember this is BARF which stands for Breaking-Absorbing; Release- Form. So breaking bonds needs to absorb energy and forming bonds releases energy.
N2 is more stable in that it has a triple bond. energy is always required to break bonds and released to make bonds. since the N2 bonds must be broken, it is an endothermic reaction.
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