This question has to do with the idea of stability and energy. The premise is that systems will tend towards lower energy states, that’s why bonding happens and electrons prefer single orbitals. And that makes sense in all considering the second law of thermodynamics, but it still doesn’t answer what causes the release of energy when bonding. Clearly, the potential energy of each electron is lower when there is a greater charge and a stronger force of attraction between things—it makes sense, as when you have a stronger force of attraction, you have less “pathways” or degrees of freedom, hence less potential energy. It also checks out with the math of Coulomb’s law, as when the radius decreases from bonding, potential energy decreases as well. So by an atom exhibiting a magnetic pull on another and bonding, potential energy of each electron decreases. But the thing is I just don’t get where that loss of potential energy is going—in this scenario, it wouldn’t make sense for it to be randomly emitted. Or is that not even the reason bonds loose energy?
Consider this analogy, and correct me if I’m wrong: Consider I have 2 magnets A and B that are oppositely charged. If I take magnet A and pull it away from magnet B, now I just did work on magnet A and increased the magnetic potential energy of it as well. Now lets say I released magnet A. The potential energy would be converted into kinetic energy and it would tend towards the other magnet. Now, let’s say I catch magnet A before it hits magnet B. The potential energy of Magnet A just decreased in the field because the kinetic energy transferred to my hand, right?
So instead in atoms, the “hand” that stops atoms from ramming into each other completely is other electrons and the repulsion of the nucleus. So it seems all energy is conserved. Each atom is just transferring energy between each other by both pulling on each other. So how does energy get released?