I am trying to figure out how is it possible to reconcile the reality of exothermic reactions, which means that kinetic energy is transferred to (heats) the surrounding matter, with the principle of conservation of momentum, in particular when the product is a single molecule.
I have been exploring the question but found no sufficiently explanatory answer to the question of how the bond energy that is released may create movement (heat). The nearest to an answer that I can imagine is that the reactants enter some transitory combined state of vibration and that further contact with some other molecule results in the separation of each of them in opposite directions with equal but opposite momenta increments thus preserving the overall momentum, while at the same time reducing the vibration and stabilizing the product molecule.
If that were the correct answer (at least in some cases), I would like to know a bit more about the details of the process, which I suppose entail some description about how binding energy is transferred to that vibration.
In any case, it would be interesting to know whether is it actually possible for a single carbon atom and oxygen molecule to react (if they collide with the necessary energy) and produce carbon dioxyde or not, be it for the reason above or another one, since if they are in isolation, the transfer of vibration energy cannot be realized and thus the reaction could not be completed, and then I suppose that would eventually end with the spontaneous separation of the components.