Q:

Why is fluorine the most reactive halogen?

A:

Quick Answer

Fluorine is the most reactive of the halogens because it is at the top of the halogen group, which is the second to right group on the periodic table. With halogens, the higher an element is in the column, the more reactive it is.

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Full Answer

Halogens are reactive because the outer shells that orbit the nucleus lack electrons. This makes them eager to grab electrons from wherever they can get them.

Fluorine, whose atomic number is 9, is a violently reactive element. It will even attack glass and noble gases, which are considered inert. Even water explodes when exposed to fluorine. Because of its reactivity, fluorine is never found free in nature, but is found as some type of fluoride.

At standard pressure and temperature, fluorine is a pale yellow, poison gas that should not be handled by a non-professional and should certainly not be inhaled or ingested. However, when fluorine is present as fluoride, it can be quite beneficial. Calcium fluoride is used as a flux in the metal industry, and pure crystals are used as prisms. It also produces hydrofluoric acid, which is used in the manufacture of ceramics. Stannous fluoride, a compound of tin and fluorine, protects tooth enamel.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is chlorine a metal?

    A:

    Chlorine is a nonmetal in the halogen group. Under standard conditions, chlorine is a yellow-green gas at room temperature, as it has a boiling point of -29.27 degrees Fahrenheit. Like all halogens, chlorine is highly reactive, and large amounts can be dangerous or even lethal to human beings.

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  • Q:

    What are facts about halogens?

    A:

    Halogens include the elements chlorine, bromine and iodine, which form Group 7 in the periodic table of elements. Halogens vary in size, weight and other physical characteristics, but share several commonalities. All halogens are diatomic, which means they appear as molecules and have pairs of atoms.

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  • Q:

    What is fluorine used for?

    A:

    Fluorine is a highly reactive element that is used in processing nuclear fuel, in producing plastics and as a glass etching solution. It can also be found in toothpaste and drinking water, and it is a component in air conditioning and refrigeration. Because of its highly explosive nature, it is also used in rocket fuels.

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  • Q:

    Where is fluorine found?

    A:

    Fluorine is found in the minerals fluorapatite, cryolite and fluorspar in the Earth's crust. It is not found as a free element in nature because it is too reactive.

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