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Why does the energy of interaction between the nucleus and electron decrease with the increase of atomic number?

7 years ago


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The atomic radius is the distance from the atomic nucleus to the outermost stable electron orbital in an atom that is at equilibrium. The atomic radius tends to decrease as one progresses across a period because the effective nuclear charge increases, thereby attracting the orbiting electrons and lessening the radius. The atomic radius usually increases while going down a group due to the addition of a new energy level (shell). However, diagonally, the number of protons has a larger effect than the sizeable radius. For example, lithium (145 pm) has a smaller atomic radius than magnesium (150 pm). Atomic radii decrease left to right across a period, and Increase top to bottom down a group.

The ionization potential (or the ionization energy) is the minimum energy required to remove one electron from each atom in a mole of atoms in the gaseous state. The first ionization energy is the energy required to remove one, the nth ionization energy is the energy required to remove the atom's nth electron, not including the n-1 electrons before it. Trend-wise, the ionization potentials tend to increase while one progresses across a period because the greater number of protons (higher nuclear charge) attract the orbiting electrons more strongly, thereby increasing the energy required to remove one of the electrons. As one progresses down a group on the periodic table, the ionization energy will likely decrease, due to the greater number of shells, thereby positioning the valence electrons further from the protons, which attract them less, thereby requiring less energy to remove them. There will be an increase of ionization energy from left to right of a given period and a decrease from top to bottom. As a rule, it requires far less energy to remove an outer-shell electron than an inner-shell electron. As a result the ionization energies for a given element will increase steadily within a given shell, and when starting on the next shell down will show a drastic jump in ionization energy. Simply put, the lower the principal quantum number, the higher the ionization energy for the electrons within that shell. The exceptions are the elements in the boron and oxygen family which require slightly less energy than the general trend.

7 years ago

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