How Does Potential Energy Change When a Chemical Bond Is Formed?

The potential energy that forms when chemical bonds form is called chemical potential energy. Strong chemical bonds have very small chemical potential energy levels, while weak bonds have very high chemical potential energy levels.

Every atom and molecule has its own chemical potential energy value since atoms and molecules are attracted to each other. Whenever atoms and molecules form ionic or covalent bonds, their individual potential energies are converted into heat or light energy. The heat or light energy is released as the bonds form. Atoms that form strong bonds have lower potential chemical energy levels and release little heat or light, while atoms that form weak bonds have higher potential chemical energy levels and release a lot of heat or light during the formation of chemical bonds.