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I was going over one of the UA worksheets that asks to put the following in increasing order of metallic character: Si, Be, Mg, Na, P. In the answer key it had the order P, Si, Be, Mg, Na and I was a little confused why Be wouldn't have the lowest metallic character since metallic character increases going down a group and decreases going across a period so it is higher than P and Si therefore having lower metallic character.
Metallic character is greatest at the bottom left corner of the periodic table. The answer is in increasing order so P has the least metallic character and Na has the most. This follows and makes sense with the trend of metallic character across the periodic table.
Metallic character increases as you go to the left and down on the periodic table. Metallic character refers to the reactiveness of an atom in terms of its ability to lose electrons. As you go down the periodic table, the atomic radius increases so the attraction between protons in the nucleus and valence electrons decreases. As you go to the left, the number of the valence electrons of atoms in a given group decreases. So elements in the bottom-left corner of the periodic table have the highest metallic characters because they are more likely to be reactive and will give away electrons.
Metallic character is greatest in the lowest left corner of the periodic table because of the increased shielding that occurs and the minimal effective nuclear charge that results from this. As a result, it's very easy for these elements to lose atoms.
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