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Chemical Bond Energy

[Article 6 by fmyhr, 1998-07-10 | 1 Review | Review this article]

Chemical Bond Energy: As you probably know, many things (earth, air, fire, water, people, etc.) are made up of atoms. At the center of each atom is a very small nucleus with a positive elecrical charge. Outside and surrounding the nucleus is an electron "cloud" that contains one or more negatively-charged electrons. When two atoms get close to one another they sometimes decide to stay near one another and share some of their electrons, forming a chemical bond. Every chemical bond contains a definite amount of chemical energy, which can be large or small depending on the types of atoms in the bond. When you burn wood in a campfire, high-energy chemical bonds in the wood are broken and low-energy chemical bonds with oxygen (from the air) are formed. The net difference in chemical energy is the reason you built the campfire in the first place--it comes out as heat and light.

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