Ionization energy

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Katherine Grillo 1B
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Ionization energy

Postby Katherine Grillo 1B » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:51 am

Why is removing a second electron always harder than the first? Does this logic apply to the third electron, meaning the third is even harder to remove than the second?

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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Re: Ionization energy

Postby MadisonB » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:01 am

It is harder to remove the second electron and ever harder to remove the third due to an increase in effective nuclear charge when electrons are removed. The effective nuclear charge is a positive force attracting valence electrons. Therefore, when one electron is removed, the same amount of positive charge acts on a lesser amount of negative charge, making electrons more tightly attracted to the nucleus and harder to remove. An analogy is a mother with eight kids going off to college in consecutive years, each time one kid goes off she (might) hold more tightly to her remaining children. I apologize for my silly analogy, but I hope that this helps!

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