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Periods and Blocks
The elements can be grouped horizontally, or by periods. How are the lengths of each period determined?
Tip: the period number corresponds with the sublevel filled, so period 1 has 1 s filled, period 2 has 2 s 2 p filled, etc.
Based on electron configurations, the periodic table can also be divided into blocks based on which sublevel is in the process of being filled.
Remember: the d sublevel is always one principal level behind the period in which it is located and the f sublevel is two levels behind, i.e. 4 d fills in the fifth period and the 5 f sublevel is in the seventh period.
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Alkali Metals and Hydrogen
Based on groups on the periodic table, we know an element's number of reactive electrons and can predict its behavior.
Group 1, or the red column, is labeled alkali metals. How is a hydrogen atom related to the alkali metals? Why do group 1 elements tend to be very reactive, especially with water? What are other characteristics of alkali metals?
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Alkaline Earth Metals
Group 2 elements, or the peach column, are called alkaline earth metals. How many s electrons are in the outer shell of Group 2 elements? How reactive are Group 2 elements?
There are many uses of alkaline earth compounds. What are some uses of calcium?
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Noble gases glow when an electric current is passed through them
Group VII, or the light aqua column on the periodic table above, consists of the noble gases, which exist as monatomic gases at room temperature. Why are these elements generally chemically inert or unreactive?
Compounds have still been formed from some of th enoble gases. How are noble gases used?
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The group 17 (yellow column) elements are called the halogens. How many valence electrons do halogens have? How does this affect their reactivity? Why are these elements not found free in nature?
Tip: "halogen" means "salt-former" because halogens will readily act with alkali metals and alkaline earth metals to form halide salts, i.e. NaCl, or salt.
Halogens are all at different states at room temperature. Which state is bromine in? Iodine?
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Transition elements can be found in group 3 to group 12, or the salmon-colored block in the middle of the table. Why would these be called d-block elements? What are some properties of transition elements?
Remember: the d sublevel is a lower principal energy level than the s sublevel, so the d goes before the s in the electron configuration. For example, the electron configuration of scadium is [Ar]3d14s2 even though the 4s is filled before the 3d begins.
Compounds of many transition metals have distinct colors. Why is this the case?
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Lanthanides and Actinides
On the periodic table, the two pink boxes by the d block correspond with the same pink-colored rows that are pulled out below the main part of the table. These two rows are called lanthanides and actinides in the f block. What are some characteristics of lanthanides? Of actinides?
The electrons of these elements begin to fill out the f sublevel. Why are these elements sometimes referred to as inner transition elements?
Based on each type of element's properties, how are lanthanides and actinides used?
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