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It becomes harder to remove an electron when an atom has a net positive charge because the attraction that the nuclear charge exerts per electron gets larger. For example, if you have a neutral nitrogen atom, it has 7 electrons. The nuclear charge exerted by the 7 protons in the nucleus is distributed over the 7 electrons. When you remove one electron, there are only 6 electrons left while the nuclear charge of the atom remains the same. Since there are less electrons to attract, the attractive force on each electron is higher as a result. This is why it requires more energy to remove more electrons after you remove the first one.
But lets say you are removing the first two electrons from Magnesium since it has two electrons in the outer shell. After you remove the first electron, there is only one left; is it easier to remove that second electron because Magnesium wants to be in a balanced state? Or is it still more difficult than removing the first electron because the nucleus has more of a pull on that singular electron? Do we just disregard the inter-electron forces in favor of the power of the nucleus when it comes to ionization energy?
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