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Let’s say X and Y bond together to create XY, where this reaction is exothermic. What I’m visualizing in my head is X and Y floating about with certain speeds, which contributes to their kinetic energy. But when they bind together, the kinetic energy of the X-Y system decreases, because their bonding is a perfectly inelastic collision.

But where does the missing energy go? Does it go to surrounding atoms, making them speed up faster? And how does it do that?—-I want an explanation on the level of moving subatomic particles and subatomic forces like Coloumb’s law. What forces cause the surrounding particles to move at a faster rate? And where does this force originate from?

According to this logic, all synthesis reactions should be exothermic, but this is obviously not the case. How can I visualize a synthesis reaction that is endothermic?

Or is this the wrong way to think about it?

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