# Why does the potential energy of molecules decrease as they get closer?

## Why does the potential energy of molecules decrease as they get closer?

As the atoms first begin to interact, the attractive force is stronger than the repulsive force and so the potential energy of the system decreases, as seen in the diagram. As the two hydrogen atoms move closer and closer together, the potential energy continues to decrease.

What happens to the potential energy of the atoms if they get too close to each other?

For atoms that are very close together, the electrostatic repulsion of the two nuclei dominates. Pushing the atoms closer together works against this force, which is why the potential energy increases.

What happens to potential energy as the particles get further apart Does it increase or decrease?

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Before you let the ball go, it has potential, or stored, energy. Potential energy typically increases when objects get farther apart. It decreases when objects get closer together. Thus, particles that are farther apart have greater chemical potential energy than particles that are closer together.

### Why do strong bonds have lower potential energy?

A stronger bond is a lower potential energy configuration, in accord with it being a more stable configuration. A reaction that leads to a stronger bond will release an amount of energy equal to the difference in bond energies as heat.

What causes potential energy to decrease?

Potential energy is the energy a system has as a result of being able to undergo some change. As an object falls its potential energy decreases, while its kinetic energy increases. The decrease in potential energy is exactly equal to the increase in kinetic energy. Another important concept is work.

What happens when the atoms are arranged so that the potential energy is at a minimum?

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When the atoms are arranged so that the potential energy is at a minimum, they have achieved the most stable balance between the attractions and repulsions. The atoms are more stable when they are bonded because their outer electron energy levels are full by sharing electrons with another atom.

## Does potential energy increase or decrease as two oppositely charged particles approach each other?

Because the potential energy of like-charged particles increases as they are brought closer together, while that of opposite-charged particles decreases, it is convenient to assign a value of zero potential energy to two charged particles which are a long distance apart.

What happens to potential energy when atoms move closer to each other?

In other words, the atoms exert forces on each other. As the atoms move closer together, these forces are doing work and, because the force is acting in the same direction as the movement, the work decreases the potential energy.

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What is the relationship between kinetic and potential energy?

More speed per particle means more kinetic energy per particle and for the system of particles. Since energy seems to be a conserved quantity, this increase in kinetic energy must be accompanied by a decrease in some other energy. That other energy is often called “potential energy.”. That basical…

### What is the relationship between internuclear distance and potential energy form?

The form of the corresponding potential curve exhibits a monotonically decreasing function (thus, no minimum/equilibrium) toward an asymptotic value when the internuclear distance approaches infinity. First you need to know that such potential energy form is a result of the electron density being in a certain configuration.

What happens to potential energy when force is attractive?

The forces are attractive, so if you consider the force of atom A pulling on atom B, the force exerted by atom A on atom B is toward atom A. If atom B moves in that direction (toward atom A), the potential energy will decrease.