configuration : the method parts are arrangedreaction : a chemical adjust when substances come into call with each various other

(A newer version that the chemical Reactions module is available.)

The reaction of two or more elements together results in the development of a chemistry To hold or fasten systems such as atoms or molecules together.">bond between atoms and also the development of a chemical link (see our chemical Bonding module). But why carry out chemicals react together? The reason has to do through the participating atoms" -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electron configuration (see our The periodic Table of aspects module).

You are watching: The elements that usually gain or share valence electrons in a chemical reaction are

Inert gases

In the so late 1890s, the Scottish chemist teacher William Ramsay discovered the aspects helium, neon, argon, krypton, and also xenon. These elements, along with radon, were put in group VIIIA that the regular table and nicknamed inert (or noble) gases due to the fact that of their propensity not come react v other aspects (see our regular Table page).

The propensity of the noble gases to no react through other elements has to perform with their -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electron configurations. Every one of the noble gases have complete valence shells; this construction is a secure configuration and one that other elements try to accomplish by reacting together. In various other words, the factor atoms react through each other is to with a state in which their valence shell is filled.


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

Sodium Chlorine

Chlorine, with 7 valence -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons, demands one added electron to finish its valence covering with eight electrons. Sodium is a tiny bit trickier. At very first it appears that sodium requirements seven added electrons to finish its valence shell. However this would provide sodium a -7 electric charge and make it highly imbalanced in regards to the number of electrons (negative charges) family member to the number of -19 coulombs and a mass of 1.672…">protons (positive charges). As it transforms out, that is much less complicated for sodium to provide up that one valence electron and become a +1 ion. In act so, the sodium atom empties its third electron shell and also now the outermost shell that includes electrons, its 2nd shell, is filled - agreeing with our earlier statement that atoms react because they room trying to fill their valence shell.

salt Chloride This trait, the propensity to shed -19 coulombs and a mass of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons once entering into chemical reactions, is usual to all metals. The number of electrons metal atoms will lose (and the fee they will certainly take on) is same to the number of electrons in the atom"s valence shell. For all of the facets in group A the the periodic table, the number of valence electron is equal to the team number (see our regular Table page).

Comprehension Checkpoint

Metals tend to __________ electrons in chemical reactions.



Nonmetals and also metalloids

Nonmetals, by comparison, tend to obtain -19 coulombs and a massive of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons (or re-superstructure them) to finish their valence shells. For all of the nonmetals, other than hydrogen and also helium, your valence shell is complete with eight electrons. Therefore, nonmetals obtain electrons equivalent to the formula = 8 - (group #). Chlorine, in group 7, will gain 8 - 7 = 1 electron and form a -1 ion.

Hydrogen and helium only have actually -19 coulombs and a massive of 9.11 × 10-31 kg. Electrons…">electrons in their very first electron shell. The volume of this shell is two. For this reason helium, v two electrons, already has a complete valence shell and falls into the group of facets that tend not to react with others, the noble gases. Hydrogen, with one valence electron, will obtain one electron when forming a an unfavorable ion. However, hydrogen and also the aspects on the routine table labeled metalloids, deserve to actually type either hopeful or an adverse ions matching to the variety of valence electron they have. Thus hydrogen will type a +1 ion once it loser its one electron and a -1 ion when it benefit one electron.

Comprehension Checkpoint

Metalloids are aspects that can kind either positive or an unfavorable ions.



Reaction energy

All chemistry reactions room accompanied by a readjust in energy. Part reactions release power to your surroundings (usually in the type of heat) and also are dubbed exothermic. Because that example, sodium and also chlorine reaction so violently the flames can be viewed as the exothermic reaction gives off heat. ~ above the other hand, some reactions must absorb heat from your surroundings to proceed. These reactions are referred to as endothermic. A an excellent example of one endothermic reaction is that which takes location inside the an prompt "cold pack." advertising cold packs typically consist of two compounds – urea and ammonium chloride – in separate containers within a plastic bag. Once the bag is bent and the inside containers room broken, the two compounds mix together and also begin come react. Since the reaction is endothermic, it absorbs warmth from the surrounding environment and the bag gets cold.

Reactions that proceed automatically when 2 substances space mixedtogether (such together the reaction of sodium v chlorine or urea through ammonium chloride) are referred to as spontaneous reactions. Not all reactions proceed spontaneously. For example, think of a match. Once you to win a complement you are resulting in a reaction between the chemicals in the enhance head and also oxygen in the air. The match won"t light spontaneously, though. You an initial need come input energy, which is dubbed the a. For example, a tobacco lighter needs activation energy…">activation power of the reaction. In the instance of the match, you it is provided activation power in the type of warmth by highlight the match on the matchbook. After ~ the activation energy is soaked up and the reaction begins, the reaction proceeds until you either extinguish the fire or you run out of product to react.


Exploring the how and why of chemistry reactions, this module explains properties that the inert – or "noble" – gases. It also explains how various elements achieve a steady configuration by bonding to fill their valence shells through electrons, bring about a chemical compound. The difference between exothermic and endothermic reaction is discussed.

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additional Reading

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