Video: Identifying the Name for the Property of Atoms of an Element That Reflects Their Strength of Attraction to Shared Electrons in Bonds in a Set of Names

Which of the following is the property of atoms of an element that reflects their strength of attraction to shared electrons in bonds? [A] Reduction Potential [B] Ionization Energy [C] Electronegativity [D] Heat of Combustion [E] Activation Energy

04:10

Video Transcript

Which of the following is the property of atoms of an element that reflects their strength of attraction to shared electrons in bonds? A) Reduction potential, B) Ionization energy, C) Electronegativity, D) Heat of combustion, or E) Activation energy.

In this question, we’re being asked to identify an atomic property, specifically, how strongly an atom will be attracted to the shared electrons in a bond. When a bond is formed between two atoms, it takes two electrons to create that bond. One electron is contributed by one of the atoms participating in the bond, and the other electron is provided by the other. These two electrons are then shared between the atoms, which is what makes the bond between them. The way I’ve drawn this bond right now, we have the electrons being shared pretty evenly between the two atoms participating in the bond.

But we don’t always observe that the electrons are shared evenly in a bond between atoms and a molecule. Sometimes one of the atoms has a stronger attraction to the electrons than the other one does, which causes the electrons to be pulled towards that atom. In this case, I’ve drawn the orange atom as having a stronger attraction than the pink atom, so the electrons are closer to the orange atom than the pink atom. This property that describes an atom’s tendency to attract the shared bonding electrons towards itself is called electronegativity.

In my example, the orange atom would be more electronegative than the pink atom because it’s pulling more strongly on these shared electrons between the two. Electronegativity increases as we move to the right and up across the periodic table, with fluorine being considered the most electronegative element. So, electronegativity is the correct answer, as it’s the property of atoms of an element that reflects their strength of attraction to shared electrons in a bond. But let’s go over the other answer choices so we know what they are.

The reduction potential describes the ability of a chemical species to be reduced. Reduction is what happens when a chemical species gains an electron. When we’re talking about reduction, we’re typically talking about something that’s occurring in an electrochemical cell. In this case, one chemical species would be reduced or lose an electron, and the other species would be oxidized or gain an electron. This is known as a redox reaction.

Ionization energy is the amount of energy that’s needed to remove an outer electron from an atom. So, for example, if we were to remove an electron from sodium, which would give us a positively charged sodium ion, the energy that was required to remove that electron to give us the sodium ion would be the ionization energy.

The heat of combustion is the energy that’s released as a result of a combustion reaction. A combustion reaction is what happens when we burn a chemical species in the presence of oxygen. A common example of this is when we burn fuel in our cars, which creates carbon dioxide and water vapor. The energy that’s released as a result of this combustion reaction is what powers the vehicles that we drive.

Our final answer choice is the activation energy, which is the energy that’s needed for a chemical reaction to occur. You’ve probably seen some kind of reaction coordinate diagram like this before, where we have the reactants in one spot and the products in the other. The activation energy, which I’ve labelled E with a subscript A, is the amount of energy that’s needed to get over the hump in this diagram so that the reaction can proceed.

But as we discussed earlier, the property that this question is asking about is electronegativity, which is the property of atoms of an element that reflects their strength of attraction to shared electrons in bonds.

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.