configuration : the means parts are arrangedreactivity : a chemical readjust once substances come into call through each other

(A more recent version of the Chemical Reactions module is easily accessible.)

The reactivity of 2 or even more facets together outcomes in the formation of a chemical To organize or fasten units such as atoms or molecules together.">bond between atoms and the formation of a chemical compound (view our Chemical Bonding module). But why carry out chemicals react together? The reason has to perform via the participating atoms" -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electron configurations (see our The Periodic Table of Elements module).

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Inert gases

In the late 1890s, the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay found the elements helium, neon, argon, krypton, and also xenon. These elements, in addition to radon, were put in group VIIIA of the regular table and also nicknamed inert (or noble) gases because of their tendency not to react with other facets (watch our Periodic Table page).

The tendency of the noble gases to not react through various other elements has to perform via their -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electron configurations. All of the noble gases have actually full valence shells; this configuration is a secure configuration and one that other facets try to attain by reacting together. In other words, the reason atoms react with each other is to reach a state in which their valence shell is filled.


Let"s look at the reaction of sodium through chlorine. In their atomic states, sodium has actually one valence -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electron and also chlorine has actually seven.

Sodium Chlorine

Chlorine, via salso valence -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons, requirements one additional electron to complete its valence shell through eight electrons. Sodium is a small bit trickier. At first it appears that sodium requirements salso extra electrons to complete its valence shell. But this would certainly provide sodium a -7 electric charge and make it very imwell balanced in terms of the variety of electrons (negative charges) family member to the number of -19 coulombs and also a mass of 1.672…">protons (positive charges). As it turns out, it is much easier for sodium to provide up its one valence electron and also become a +1 ion. In doing so, the sodium atom empties its 3rd electron shell and also now the outermany shell that consists of electrons, its second shell, is filled - agreeing with our previously statement that atoms react bereason they are trying to fill their valence shell.

Sodium Chloride This trait, the tendency to shed -19 coulombs and also a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons once entering into chemical reactions, is widespread to all steels. The variety of electrons metal atoms will lose (and the charge they will certainly take on) is equal to the number of electrons in the atom"s valence shell. For all of the facets in group A of the regular table, the variety of valence electrons is equal to the group number (check out our Periodic Table page).

Comprehension Checkpoint

Metals tfinish to __________ electrons in chemical reactions.



Nonmetals and also metalloids

Nonmetals, by comparichild, tend to gain -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons (or share them) to complete their valence shells. For all of the nonmetals, except hydrogen and also helium, their valence shell is complete via eight electrons. As such, nonmetals obtain electrons equivalent to the formula = 8 - (group #). Chlorine, in group 7, will certainly acquire 8 - 7 = 1 electron and also form a -1 ion.

Hydrogen and also helium only have actually -19 coulombs and also a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons in their first electron shell. The capacity of this shell is 2. Thus helium, through two electrons, already has actually a complete valence shell and falls into the group of elements that tfinish not to react through others, the noble gases. Hydrogen, with one valence electron, will certainly obtain one electron once developing a negative ion. However, hydrogen and also the elements on the routine table labeled metalloids, have the right to actually form either positive or negative ions equivalent to the number of valence electrons they have actually. Therefore hydrogen will certainly develop a +1 ion when it loses its one electron and a -1 ion when it gains one electron.

Comprehension Checkpoint

Metalloids are elements that can create either positive or negative ions.



Reactivity energy

All chemical reactions are accompanied by a change in power. Some reactions release energy to their surroundings (usually in the create of heat) and also are dubbed exothermic. For example, sodium and chlorine react so violently that flames deserve to be viewed as the exothermic reaction provides off heat. On the other hand, some reactions must absorb heat from their surroundings to proceed. These reactions are referred to as endothermic. A great instance of an endothermic reaction is that which takes area inside of an prompt "cold fill." Commercial cold packs generally consist of two compounds – urea and ammonium chloride – in sepaprice containers within a plastic bag. When the bag is bent and also the inside containers are damaged, the two compounds mix together and also start to react. Because the reactivity is endothermic, it absorbs heat from the surrounding atmosphere and the bag gets cold.

Reactions that proceed instantly when 2 substances are mixedtogether (such as the reactivity of sodium with chlorine or urea with ammonium chloride) are called spontaneous reactions. Not all reactions proceed spontaneously. For instance, think of a enhance. When you strike a complement you are leading to a reaction between the chemicals in the enhance head and also oxygen in the air. The complement won"t light spontaneously, though. You first should input energy, which is called the a. For instance, a cigarette lighter needs activation energy…">activation energy of the reaction. In the instance of the enhance, you supply activation power in the create of warmth by striking the match on the matchbook. After the activation power is absorbed and also the reactivity starts, the reactivity proceeds till you either extinguish the flame or you run out of product to react.


Exploring the exactly how and why of chemical reactions, this module explains properties of the inert – or "noble" – gases. It additionally defines exactly how different elements attain a secure configuration by bonding to fill their valence shells with electrons, causing a chemical compound. The difference between exothermic and endothermic reactions is debated.

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Further Reading

Anthony Carpi, Ph.D. “Chemical Reactions (previous version)” Visiondiscovering Vol. CHE-4 (3), 2017.