GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

IDENTIFY REASONS FOR VARIATION IN PROPERTIES ACROSS THE PERIOD AND DOWN THE GROUPS

The periodic table of elements consists of 118 elements, each with its unique properties.

Properties of elements can vary across a period (horizontal row) and down a group (vertical column) in the periodic table due to the underlying trends in atomic structure and chemical bonding.

1) Ionization Energy

Ionization energy refers to the amount of energy required to remove an electron from an atom or ion in its gaseous state. The trend of ionization energy across a period and down a group in the periodic table can be explained by the following factors:

  • Atomic Size: As we move across a period from left to right, the ionization energy generally increases. This is because the atomic size decreases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus, resulting in stronger attractive forces between the electrons and the nucleus. As a result, it becomes more difficult to remove an electron.
  • Electron Shielding: Electron shielding refers to the repulsion between electrons in different energy levels. As we move down a group, the ionization energy generally decreases. This is because there are more energy levels (shells) between the outermost electrons and the nucleus, leading to increased electron shielding. The outermost electrons are shielded from the full attraction of the nucleus, making them easier to remove.
  • Effective Nuclear Charge: Effective nuclear charge refers to the net positive charge experienced by an electron in an atom. As we move across a period from left to right, the effective nuclear charge increases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus. This increased positive charge attracts electrons more strongly, making it more difficult to remove them and thus increasing ionization energy.

2) Ionic Radii

Ionic radii refer to the size of ions formed when atoms gain or lose electrons to form ions. The trend of ionic radii across a period and down a group can be explained by the following factors:

  • Atomic Size: As we move across a period from left to right, the ionic radii generally decrease for cations (positively charged ions) and increase for anions (negatively charged ions). This is because as atoms lose electrons to form cations, the number of electrons decreases while the number of protons remains the same. This leads to a stronger attraction between the remaining electrons and the nucleus, resulting in a smaller size. Conversely, when atoms gain electrons to form anions, the increased electron-electron repulsion causes the electron cloud to expand, leading to a larger size.
  • Electron Shielding: As we move down a group, the ionic radii generally increase for both cations and anions. This is because as we move down a group, there are more energy levels (shells) between the outermost electrons and the nucleus, resulting in increased electron shielding. The outermost electrons are shielded from the full attraction of the nucleus, allowing them to occupy larger orbits and increasing the ionic radii.

3) Electron Affinity

Electron affinity refers to the energy change that occurs when an atom gains an electron to form a negative ion (anion). The trend of electron affinity across a period and down a group can be explained by the following factors:

  • Atomic Size: As we move across a period from left to right, the electron affinity generally increases. This is because as we move from left to right, the atomic size decreases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus. With a smaller atomic size, it becomes easier for an atom to attract and accommodate an additional electron.
  • Effective Nuclear Charge: As we move across a period from left to right, the effective nuclear charge increases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus. This increased positive charge attracts electrons more strongly, making it easier for an atom to gain an additional electron and thus increasing its electron affinity.
  • Electron Configuration: The stability of an atom’s electron configuration also plays a role in determining its electron affinity. For example, halogens (Group 17 elements) have high electron affinities because they only require one additional electron to achieve a stable noble gas electron configuration.

4) Electronegativity

Electronegativity refers to the ability of an atom to attract electrons towards itself in a chemical bond. The trend of electronegativity across a period and down a group can be explained by the following factors:

  • Atomic Size: As we move across a period from left to right, the electronegativity generally increases. This is because as we move from left to right, the atomic size decreases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus. With a smaller atomic size, the nucleus can exert a stronger pull on shared electrons in a chemical bond, resulting in higher electronegativity.
  • Effective Nuclear Charge: As we move across a period from left to right, the effective nuclear charge increases due to an increase in the number of protons in the nucleus. This increased positive charge attracts shared electrons more strongly, making it easier for an atom to pull electrons towards itself and thus increasing its electronegativity.
  • Electron Configuration: The stability of an atom’s electron configuration also influences its electronegativity. Atoms tend to have higher electronegativities if they are close to achieving a stable noble gas electron configuration by gaining or sharing electrons.
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