Science questions not covered in Chem 14A and 14B. Try to limit questions to chemistry (inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, environmental chemistry).
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Isoelectronic atoms are those that have the same # of electrons. Thus, no two different elements in non-cation, non-anion form can be isoelectronic. However, atoms of two different elements can be isoelectronic if one of the atoms is a cation or an anion. For example, K has one more atom than Neon. If one electron is taken away from K, making it a cation (K1+) then the K cation and Neon will have the same # of electrons and be isoelectronic. Therefore, to determine whether two atoms are isoelectronic, first determine how many electrons each element originally has on the periodic table, then if the element is a cation, subtract the charge of the atom from the element's original # of electrons. If the element is an anion, add the charge of the atom to the element's original # of electrons. Finally, compare the two final # of electrons for each element. If they are equal, then the two atoms are isoelectronic.
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