High School Chemistry : Identifying Types of Elements

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Chemistry

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which group of elements are characterized by stability and lack of reactivity?

Possible Answers:

Alkali metals

Lanthanoids

Alkaline earth metals

Noble gases

Metalloids

Correct answer:

Noble gases

Explanation:

Noble gases are the elements in group 18 of the periodic table. They are called noble gases because their electron shells contain a stable valence octet. This causes them to be stable, have extremely high ionization energies, and no electronegativities. Since the atoms of noble gases already have complete valence octets, they do not readily donate or accept electrons from other elements. This means they will not easily form bonds or participate in chemical reactions.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which of the following qualities is not typical of metals?

Possible Answers:

They conduct electricity well

They form negative ions

They are malleable

They form ionic compounds with non-metals

Correct answer:

They form negative ions

Explanation:

Metals can be found on the left side and center of the periodic table. Because of their generally small number of valence electrons, they prefer to lose their valence electrons, resulting in positively charged ions.

Some examples are the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals, which form and ions, respectively. Transition metals vary, but will usually form ions between and .

In contrast, non-metals (such as the halogens) will usually form negative ions.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which group in the periodic table is associated with alkaline earth metals?

Possible Answers:

Group 3

Group 1

Group 17

Group 2

Group 18

Correct answer:

Group 2

Explanation:

In general, metals are found to the left of the periodic table and non-metals are found to the right. Group 1 holds the alkali metals and group 2 holds the alkaline earth metals. Groups 3-12 are considered the transition metals.  Groups 12-16 contain non-metals and metalloids. Elements in group 17 are known as the halogens, and elements of group 18 are known as the noble gases.

Elements in a given group will all have the same valence electron configuration, giving them similar chemical properties. For example, the alkaline earth metals form stable ions with a positive two charge, are somewhat reactive with water, and commonly form stable oxides.

Example Question #33 : The Periodic Table

Which group on the periodic table is associated with halogens?

Possible Answers:

Group 18

Group 2

Group 1

Group 3

Group 17

Correct answer:

Group 17

Explanation:

In general, metals are found to the left of the periodic table and non-metals are found to the right. Group 1 holds the alkali metals and group 2 holds the alkaline earth metals. Groups 3-12 are considered the transition metals.  Groups 12-16 contain non-metals and metalloids. Elements in group 17 are known as the halogens, and elements of group 18 are known as the noble gases.

Elements in a given group will all have the same valence electron configuration, giving them similar chemical properties. For example, the halogens are very electronegative and are most stable in the negative one oxidation state.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which group on the periodic table contains elements that are known for their reactivity with water?

Possible Answers:

Group 17

Group 2

Group 18

Group 3

Group 1

Correct answer:

Group 1

Explanation:

Group 1 elements are known as the alkali metals, and include lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, and cesium. These elements have only one valence electron, giving them extremely low ionization energies. When in contact with water, these elements for alkali metal hydroxides and release hydrogen gas. The heat from the reaction can ignite the hydrogen, causing the explosion characteristic of these reactions.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which group in the periodic table is known for its extremely low electronegativity?

Possible Answers:

Group 1

Group 3

Group 17

Group 2

Group 18

Correct answer:

Group 18

Explanation:

Group 18 in the periodic table contains the noble gases. These elements contain full s orbitals (2 electrons) and full p orbitals (6 electrons), giving each noble gas a total of eight valence electrons. Since the noble gases have complete octets in their ground states, they have extremely high ionization energies and extremely low electronegativities. Essentially, it requires a very large amount of energy to remove an electron from a noble gas (ionization energy), and there is virtually zero attraction between these elements and the electrons of other nearby atoms (electronegativity).

Example Question #6 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which group in the periodic table contains elements that can have multiple oxidation states?

Possible Answers:

Group 18

Group 1

Group 17

Group 2

Group 8

Correct answer:

Group 8

Explanation:

Groups 3-12 on the periodic table contain the transition metals. These elements are characterized by partially filled d orbitals. Since the d orbitals are so large, electrons are able to shift around within subshells and flow between atoms to generate multiple oxidation states for these elements. For example, iron is an element in group 8 and commonly exists in either of two oxidation states: iron (II) or iron (III).

Group 1 elements will always have an oxidation state of , group 2 elements will always be , and group 17 elements will always be . Group 18 holds the transition metals, which generally have an oxidation state of zero.

Example Question #7 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which statement is true of the actinides?

Possible Answers:

They are very stable

They are found in group 16 of the periodic table

They have atomic masses greater than 250amu

They include cerium

They contain at least one complete f orbital

Correct answer:

They contain at least one complete f orbital

Explanation:

The lanthanides and actinides are generally separated from the periodic table to facilitate formatting. These regions of the periodic table are characterized by the presence of f orbitals, which can carry up to fourteen electrons. The actinides are one period below the lanthanides, meaning that they already contain a complete 4f orbital. Electrons in the actinide region are distributed between the 5f, 6d, and 7s orbitals in the configuration that generates the greatest stability.

Because the orbitals are so large in this region and nuclei contain so many particles, the actinides are generally somewhat unstable and contain radioactive nuclei. Cerium is a lanthanide, found one period above the actinides. The atomic masses of the actinides range from approximately 227amu to 262amu. Group 16 contains elements such as oxygen and silicon, and is not associated with the actinides.

Example Question #8 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which of the following elements is not considered to be a metalloid?

Possible Answers:

Aluminium

Boron

Arsenic

Silicon

Antimony

Correct answer:

Aluminium

Explanation:

Metalloids are classified as elements with properties of both metals and nonmetals. Of these choices, Aluminium is the only one that is not a metalloid; it is actually a metal.

Example Question #9 : Identifying Types Of Elements

Which of the following elements is not diatomic?

Possible Answers:

Hydrogen

Chlorine

Helium

Oxygen

Fluorine

Correct answer:

Helium

Explanation:

Diatomic elements are elements with two atoms in one molecule. Of these choices, helium cannot be diatomic, as it is a noble gas and has no valence electrons that are free to bond due to its full outer shell.

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