describe and explain how electrical conductivity varies across period 3

Electrical conductivity

The table shows electric conductivity values for the facets Na to Ar, relative to aluminium.

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ElementSymbolAtomic numberElectrical conductivity

Substances conduct electrical energy if they contain charged particles that can move from ar to ar when a potential distinction is applied.

The table provide some information about different substances.

metalconduct when solid or liquid
covalent substancesdo not conduct (graphite is one exception)
ionic compoundsconduct when dissolved or as soon as liquid

Description of trend

The graph shows how electric conductivity varies across duration 3.

There is a lot walking on in this graph, so the is often easier to division it right into three sections. The table below gives a brief review of these sections.

ElementsType the elementType the structureDescription
Na, Mg, Almetalmetallicconductivity increases from Na to Al
Simetalloidgiant covalentconductivity much less than Na, Mg and Al
P, S, Cl, Arnon-metalsimple molecular(Ar is monatomic)do no conduct electricity

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Explanation that this trend

Sodium, magnesium and aluminium

Sodium, magnesium and also aluminium are all metals. They have metallic bonding, in i beg your pardon the nuclei of metal atoms are attracted come delocalised electrons.

Going from salt to aluminium:

the variety of delocalised electrons boosts …there are much more electrons that can move and also carry charge v the structure…the electrical conductivity increases.


Silicon has a giant covalent structure. That is a semiconductor, so that is not a great conductor or a an excellent insulator.

Phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine and also argon

The remaining aspects in duration 3 perform not conduct electricity. They have no cost-free electrons that can move around and carry fee from place to place.

Metallic bonding is often incorrectly explained as the attraction in between positive metal ions and delocalised electrons. However, steels still consist of atoms, yet the external electrons room not associated with any certain atom.

In a comparable way, graphite (a non-metal) likewise has delocalised electrons. However, you don't watch the idea the it is composed of carbon ions.

The gigantic lattice framework of silicon is comparable to the of diamond. Each silicon atom is covalently external inspection to four other silicon atom in a tetrahedral arrangement.

The atoms in molecule of phosphorus, sulfur and also chlorine are held together by covalent bonds.

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