Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

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Catherine Bubser 2C
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Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Catherine Bubser 2C » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:41 pm

Electronegativity references an atom's ability to attract electrons to itself, how is this different from electron affinity? Can these terms be used interchangeably/ are they the same thing?

Truman Chong Dis 3G
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Truman Chong Dis 3G » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:48 pm

Electronegativity and Electron Affinity are similar but not the same. Electronegativity is the chemical property of an atom relating to its ability to attract electrons from another atom. Electron Affinity is the amount of energy released when an electron is accepted by a neutral atom. These are also different from ionization energy which is the amount of energy it takes to remove an electron from a neutral atom.

Keerthana Sundar 1K
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Keerthana Sundar 1K » Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:48 pm

Just for clarification, does that mean electron affinity is a way of describing an atom's electronegativity? Or is electron affinity more from the perspective of the electron while electronegativity is more from the perspective of the element?

Also, do electron affinity and electronegativity have similar periodic trends (higher as you go right and up)? I would love if someone could clarify! Thanks!

Christine Ma 3L
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Christine Ma 3L » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:22 pm

Keerthana Sundar 1E wrote:Just for clarification, does that mean electron affinity is a way of describing an atom's electronegativity? Or is electron affinity more from the perspective of the electron while electronegativity is more from the perspective of the element?

Also, do electron affinity and electronegativity have similar periodic trends (higher as you go right and up)? I would love if someone could clarify! Thanks!


Electron affinity and electronegativity do have similar periodic trends (increasing left to right and decreasing top to bottom), and the two concepts are similar in the sense that atoms with higher electron affinities/electronegativities want electrons more. However they still aren't interchangeable because they are applied differently. While electronegativity is a property that describes an atom's ability to attract the electrons of a shared bond, electron affinity is an energy term that describes individual atoms and the amount of energy released upon adding an electron.

To be clear, electron affinity is directly measurable (Joules per mole) while electronegativity is relative. EN uses the Pauling scale and is a dimensionless unit that's measured with respect to a reference atom. Electronegativity describes the tendency of bonded atoms to attract electrons while electron affinity describes individual atoms. Hope this helps!

Vanshika Bhushan 1A
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Vanshika Bhushan 1A » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:23 pm

Electron affinity is the energy change when a neutral atom attracts an electron to become a negative ion. Electronegativity is an atom's ability to draw bonding electrons to itself.

Armen_Isayan_2L
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Armen_Isayan_2L » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:37 pm

Although electron affinity and electronegativity share some similar aspects, they are not the same. Electron affinity is a measure of the change in energy when a neutral atom attracts an electron to become a negative ion, while Electronegativity refers to the ability an atom has to attract electrons from outside.

Gian Boco 2G
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Gian Boco 2G » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:57 pm

While they can be used to imply one another, they directly mean two different things. One has to do with energy changes once electrons are accepted while the other deals with the ability of an atom to attract other atoms.

Tanner Bartyczak 1K
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Re: Electron Affinity vs Electronegativity

Postby Tanner Bartyczak 1K » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:24 pm

I was also wondering what the difference between the two terms was. Thanks for the clarification.


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