I am new to chemistry (I have only done a GCSE in it) so forgive me if I am missing something obvious. But I am trying to very roughly simulate some chemical reactions. My background is in Artificial Life and Adaptive Systems rather than computational chemistry or chemistry in general. My stumbling block is that I am unsure exactly why bonds break and when they break.
Here are the things I am confused about:
Is the breaking of bonds by using energy a prerequisite for new bonds to be made with the involved atoms? If so, is this because the more energy there is, the more the atoms will move/vibrate, eventually pulling the bond apart? Otherwise, can bonds be broken by a new bond sort of pulling it apart in some way?
Is the strength/length of the bond what determines the amount of energy needed to break it? I'm also unsure of what the strength or length of a bond is based on. Am I correct in thinking that bond order is about the number of shared electrons in a covalent bond? But what about ionic bonds? Is it the amount of electrons "taken" by the more electronegative atom?
I know that there are multiple questions here. But they all answer the bigger question. Why and when do bonds break exactly? I have had a hard time trying to figure this out by searching on the internet alone. Often I just get pages explaining the energy requirements of a reaction. Thanks in advance, any help would be appreciated.