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Edexcel A-level Chemistry Periodic table structure

Periodic table structure

This page covers the following topics:

1. Metals and nonmetals
2. Periodic table blocks

Where an element is found in the periodic table can tell you a lot about its physical and chemical properties. Most elements are metals except for the top right corner of the periodic table and hydrogen. In between metals and nonmetals we can find metaloids that have properties similar to both metals and non-metals.

Since the group an element is in indicates how many electrons are in the outer shell, it can be used to determine the ionic charge. Metals usually form positive ions with the charge of their group number and a plus (+). Nonmetals usually form negative charges with their charge being their group number minus 8.

Metals and nonmetals

Each period consists of sublevels that can be filled with a certain number of electrons. To illustrate this, the periodic table can be split into blocks, s, p, d and f. The block and period an element is found in shows which sublevel the valence electrons are stored in. For example, the valence electrons of phosphorus are in 3s and 3p sublevels.

Aluminium would have valence electrons in sublevel 3p, with an electron configuration of 1s² 2s² 2p⁢ 3s² 3p¹. A shorthand way to write the electron configuration is starting from the noble gas before, e.g. [Ne] 3s² 3p¹ for aluminium.

Periodic table blocks

1

Which element has a shorthand electron configuration of [Ar] 4sΒ² 3dΒ³?

Which element has a shorthand electron configuration of [Ar] 4sΒ² 3dΒ³?

2

Explain why boron isn’t considered a nonmetal.

Explain why boron isn’t considered a nonmetal.

3

What is the most probable charge a phosphorus ion would have?

What is the most probable charge a phosphorus ion would have?

4

Which element has a shorthand electron configuration of [Kr] 5s¹ 3d¹⁰?

Which element has a shorthand electron configuration of [Kr] 5s¹ 3d¹⁰?

5

Which sublevel are the valence electrons of strontium stored in?

Which sublevel are the valence electrons of strontium stored in?

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