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Is the energy involved in exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions positive, negative, neutral, or something else? As in, what does it affect/come from (neutrons, protons, electrons)? Does it depend on the reaction?

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A chemical reaction that releases energy is called an exothermic reaction and a chemical reaction that absorbs energy is called an endothermic reaction. Energy from an exothermic reaction is negative, thus energy is given a negative sign; whereas, energy from an endothermic reaction is positive and energy is given a positive sign. An example that demonstrates both processes is when a person drops a book. When he or she lifts a book, he or she gives potential energy to the book (energy absorbed). However, once the he or she drops the book, the potential energy converts itself to kinetic energy and comes in the form of sound once it hits the ground (energy released). or more simply First Electron Affinity (negative energy because energy released):

X(g)+e−→X−(g)(1) Second Electron Affinity (positive energy because energy needed is more than gained):

X−(g)+e−→X2−(g)(2)

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    $\begingroup$ I understand this, but I do not understand where the energy comes from in an exothermic reaction and what it affects in an endothermic reaction. For example, does it affect the neutrons, protons, electrons, or all of it? Where does it come from as a whole? Does it affect any one more than the other or is it the same in every single reaction? $\endgroup$ – School Is Awesome Mar 30 '15 at 6:40

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