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Electron affinity is the absolute value of the energy associated with an atom in the gas phase gaining of an electron. All this means is that electron affinity describes the ease at which an atom in the gas phase accepts an electron.
Electron affinity is the amount of energy used or released when an electron is added to an atom. Therefore, a negative ion is formed. Its periodic table trend is that it increases across a period from left to right and decreases down a group.
Electron affinity reflects the ability of an atom to accept an electron. When an electron is added to a gaseous atom, an energy change occurs which is the electron affinity. Atoms with greater effective nuclear charge have greater electron affinity.
Electron affinity is simply the potential of an atom to accept an electron (or more than one) based on its size (how many shells does it have/how far is its valence shell from its nucleus) and whether or not it almost has a full valence shell (lefthand side of the periodic table of elements tend to want to give their electrons away = low electron affinity, right side of periodic table of elements tend to want to gain more electrons as they are nearly full = high electron affinity).
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