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Where does the energy go when metal is dissolved?

If a given amount of energy is used to compress a metal spring, what happens to that energy when the spring is dissolved in an acid/strong alkali?
Kjmilner from Derby (Age: 55+)


3 Responses

  1. If you have ever dropped metal into a beaker of acid you would soon know the answer – you get a lot of heat given off. In fact the beaker gets quite hot. So the energy of your coiled spring is converted into heat and also bond energy as it forms new compounds with the acid.

  2. I was asking about the energy in the spring not that given off in the expected chemical reaction,Does it create more heat / violent reaction or what?

  3. The energy would go into heating the vat of acid.

    When the spring is compressed, the work goes into pushing the molecules in
    the spring closer together. The force with which they repel each other is
    then larger then if the metal is not compressed.

    So when the spring disintegrates, the molecules separate at a higher speed
    than they would if the spring were not compressed. The additional kinetic
    energy of all the molecules would just equal the energy stored in the spring
    by compressing it. The moving molecules then collide with the molecules of
    acid and heat them up, The additional heat energy is then just equal to the
    energy stored by compressing the spring,

    Best, Dick Plano, Professor of Physics emeritus, Rutgers University

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