What is the sign of the enthalpy term in an ionization reaction?

1 Answer
Jul 2, 2017

Answer:

Given the current conventions, they should be POSITIVE........

Explanation:

Consider the ionization reaction......

#"Atom(g)"##rarr##"Atom(g)"^+ + e^(-)#

We separate an electron from a positively nucleus. Reasonably, energy should be required to do this. And so we could rewrite the reaction to reflect this, i.e.......

#"Atom(g)"+Deltararr"Atom(g)"^(+) + e^(-)#

So given that this is an endothermic reaction, #Delta# should be POSITIVE........