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I understand that if an exothermic reaction is occurring in a flask, energy is given off and thus the flask feels warm. However, can someone explain why an endothermic reaction occurring in a flask feels cool? I thought that endothermic reactions need to take in energy to occur.
Endothermic reactions absorb heat, and in most cases, this heat is taken from the surroundings. In this case, the flask is considered the surroundings of the reaction (that's why the exothermic reaction, which releases heat, warms the flask/surroundings). The endothermic reaction absorbs the heat from the flask, which makes the flask feel cold.
Endothermic reactions feel cold because it is taking energy from the surroundings. Your hand may be a part of the surroundings and so if you become in contact with it, it will feel cool because it is taking energy/heat from your hand into its system. This is why endothermic reactions feel cold.
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