Q:

What determines an atom's reactivity?

A:

An atom's reactivity is determined by the number of electrons in its outermost shell. Because the outer shell can hold up to eight electrons and not all elements are able to fill these shells to capacity, the fullness of the shells will determine the volatility of the atom's reactive properties as a result of the number of electrons required to complete the shell.

Know More

Full Answer

Atoms with low reactivity have full atom shells. The noble gases, including neon, argon and krypton, fall into this category, as they are atoms that naturally present with full electron shells and are not looking to gain or lose electrons to achieve a balanced outer shell.

Atoms with high reactivity have outer shells that are imbalanced because of a low number of electrons (one or two) or a higher but not full number (six or seven). The most highly reactive elements are halogens, which are looking to gain one more electron, and alkali metals, which are looking to lose the single electron in their outer shells.

Learn more in Chemistry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many valence electrons does palladium have?

    A:

    The element palladium has 10 valence electrons in its outermost shell, the 4d shell. Many elements follow the octet rule, where they are considered having a full outer shell when there are eight electrons. Transition metals and heavier elements are exceptions and are more stable when they have more electrons in their outer shell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the trends in reactivity with hcl in alkaline earth metals?

    A:

    Each of the alkaline earth metals reacts with HCl, also known as hydrochloric acid, to form hydrogen gas and its corresponding metal chloride solution. The reaction becomes stronger the further down the group the element is on the periodic table.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What determines climate?

    A:

    The climate is determined by a number of factors, including how the atmosphere, oceans and continents react to the solar radiation that heats the planet. The oceans play a major role in determining long-term climate, as they transport and release stored heat slowly over hundreds of years.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What determines the shape of a protein?

    A:

    The shape of a protein is determined by the four levels of protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Other chaperon proteins are present in the cell and ensure that a protein folds into its proper shape.

    Full Answer >

Explore