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On question 1F.11 (edition 7 of the textbook) the question asks for you to choose which element of a given pair has the higher electron affinity. How do you distinguish which element has the higher electron affinity if they are in the same group? Beryllium and magnesium (which are in the same group) were a given pair whose electron affinities are equal, while of the pair oxygen and sulfur (also in the same group), sulfur has the higher electron affinity, but then the gallium and indium pair also were equal. Is there a trend or is there a different way to know?
i think the trend is as you go higher up the periodic table and to the right, elements will have a higher electron affinity. electron affinity is determined by the attraction of electrons to the nucleus, so the more protons an element has (going to the right of the periodic table), the higher the electron affinity is. as you go up a group, the electrons can be closer to the nucleus (protons!) and feel a higher level of attraction than those elements that have high number of protons but more electrons in further shells.
I think he said that with electron affinity there's less of a clear trend as with ionization energy and atomic radius. In general the elements in the upper right side will have the highest electron affinity, but that doesn't guarantee that elements right next to each other or above/below each other will necessary follow that trend. I have no idea how we are supposed to know when elements follow that trend and when they don't.
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