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Two electron configuration: Mg(Ne)3s^2 Zn(Ar)4s^2 3d^10 Using the configurations, explain the...

Question:

Two electron configuration:

{eq}Mg(Ne)_3 \qquad s^2 Zn(Ar)4s^2 3d^{10} {/eq}

Using the configurations, explain the difference in relative reactivity of the 2 metals ( which are Mg and Zn)

Electronic Configuration & Chemical Reactivity:

The chemical reactivity of an element is its ability or ease to undergo a chemical reaction and undergo the rearrangement of electronic distribution in the valence shell.

The valance shell electrons are involved in the chemical reaction and are either lost or the valence shell is occupied by more electrons.

The electronic configuration is directly related to the chemical reactivity of the element and thus we can use it to predict the relative reactivity.

Answer and Explanation:

  • The electronic configuration of Mg is {eq}1s^{2}2s^{2}2p^{6}3s^{2} {/eq} that shows that it can easily lose two electrons and form the cation {eq}Mg^{2+} {/eq} and attain a stable configuration with a complete octet.
  • The electronic configuration of Zn is {eq}1s^{2}2s^{2}2p^{6}3s^{2}3p^{6}4s^{2}3d^{10} {/eq} that shows that it already has a stable configuration but under certain conditions, it loses two electrons and forms {eq}Zn^{2+} {/eq} ion.
  • Since the valence electrons of Zn are screened by d-electrons that are weak at it, it is more difficult to remove them as compared to Mg whose valence electrons are screened by p-electrons.
  • Thus, the ionization energy of Zn is higher that makes it less reactive than Mg.

Learn more about this topic:

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Metals on the Periodic Table: Definition & Reactivity

from General Studies Science: Help & Review

Chapter 27 / Lesson 45
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