Energy in Chemical Systems
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Develop an argument from evidence to evaluate a proposed solution to societal energy demands based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints that could include cost, safety, reliability, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Construct an explanation of the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter. Emphasize a qualitative understanding. Examples could include that low energy electromagnetic radiation can increase molecular rotation and bond vibration, visible light can cause electronic transitions, and high energy electromagnetic radiation can result in ionization and bond breaking.
A system’s total energy is conserved as energy is continually transferred from one particle to another and between its various possible forms. The energy of a system depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system. When bonds are formed between atoms, energy is released. Energy must be provided when bonds are broken. When electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths is absorbed by matter, it is generally converted into thermal energy or heat. When visible light is absorbed by matter, it results in phenomena related to color. When shorter wavelength electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by matter, it can ionize atoms and cause damage to living cells. Nuclear processes, including fusion, fission, and radioactive decays of unstable nuclei, involve the release or absorption of large amounts of energy. Society’s demand for energy requires thinking creatively about ways to provide energy that don’t deplete limited resources or produce harmful emissions.
Construct an argument from evidence about whether a simple chemical reaction absorbs or releases energy. Emphasize that the overall change in energy is related to the energy absorbed when bonds are broken and the energy released when bonds are formed. Examples could include chemical reactions releasing or absorbing energy to or from the surrounding solution or the metabolism of glucose.
Use models to describe the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom during nuclear processes, and compare the energy released during nuclear processes to the energy released during chemical processes. Emphasize a qualitative understanding of nuclear changes. Examples of nuclear processes could include the formation of elements through fusion in stars, generation of electricity in a nuclear power plant, radioactive decay, or the use of radioisotopes in nuclear medicine.