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Main Group Elements

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The main group or A-group elements occupy an important place in the world of chemistry. Eight of the 10 most abundant elements on the earth are in these groups. The main group elements and their compounds are economically important and because they have interesting chemistries.

Main group elements in Group 1A and 2A are known as s-block elements and their valence electrons. Elements in the min groups at the right in the periodic table, Groups 3A through 8A are known as p-block elements. Their valence electrons include the outermost s and p electrons.

Elements also can be divided into three broad categories. The set of metals in Group 3 through 12 are known as transition metals. The set of metals in rows 6 and 7 that are normally shown below the rest of the table are the lanthanides and actinides. All other elements are designated as main group elements.

Main Group Elements Definition

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"Each period of the periodic table begins with an element having an ns1 configuration and ends with an element having a noble gas configuration (1s2 or ns2np6). Elements with an incompletely filled set of s and p orbitals are called main group or representative elements."

Within a given group of the periodic table the main group elements have the same valence electron configuration, with the principal quantum numbers corresponding to the period number. The ionic states and the covalent states formed by the main group elements are related directly to the electron configuration of the elements and are reasonably predictable.

List of Main Group Elements

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Main group elements are those in the A groups of the periodic table or groups 1, 2 and 13 to 18 by the IUPAC system. The list of some general information about the main group elements are given below.
  1. Group 1A elements have a relatively low ionization energy so they tend to lose their ns1 valence shell electron easily when they react, thereby adopting the electron configuration of the noble gas element in the previous row of the periodic table.
  2. Group 2A elements have relatively low first and second ionization energy so they tend to lose both their ns2 valence shell electrons easily when they react and adopt a noble gas electron configuration.
  3. Group 3A elements tend to lose all three of their ns2np2 valence shell electrons and adopt a noble gas electron configuration.
  4. Group 7A elements have a relatively large negative electron affinity so they tend to gain one electron easily when they react, changing from ns2np6 to ns2np6 and thereby adopting the configuration of the neighboring noble gas element in the same row.
  5. Group 8A elements are essentially inert and undergo very few reactions they neither gain nor lose electrons easily.

Main Group Elements Periodic Table

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Elements falling in Groups 1, 2, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 are referred to an main group elements. The ten elements in the center of periods 4 through 6 are called transition metals they fall in Group 3 through 12. The first transition series starts with Sc and ends with Zn.

Certain main groups are given special names. The elements in Group 1 at the far left of the periodic table are called alkali metals those in Group 2 are referred to as alkaline earth metals. As we move to the right the elements in group 17 are called halogens at the far right the noble gases constitute Group 18. Elements in the same main group show similar properties.

The elements in the groups beginning are known as the representative elements or main group elements, while all the others are known as the transition elements. The main group metals periodic table is shown below.

Main Group Elements Periodic Table

Is Lead a Main Group Element?

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Yes, Lead belongs to Group 14 in the periodic table and placed in p-block elements of the main group elements.
Lead occurs in the form of lead sulfide (PbS) known as galena. The Latin word for lead is plumbum thus its symbol Pb. The word "plumber" comes from the early use of lead water pipes and pipe joints. Lead is a very heavy, soft, highly malleable, bluish gray metal and exists in +2 and +4 oxidation states, although lead(II) compounds are the more common
The atoms of s-block elements have one or two electrons in their last (outermost) shell. The elements of groups IA and IIA together with the element hydrogen constitute the s-block. There are 13 elements in s-block. Group I and II belong to s-block elements. The general electronic configuration of Group I is ns1 and that of Group II is ns2. Group I elements are also called alkali metals and Group II as alkaline earth metals.
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The elements in which their atoms receive the last electron in their p-orbitals are called p-block elements. Groups III to VII and also zero group belong to p-block. The general electronic configuration is ns2np1-6.Majority of p-block elements are non metals. So their oxides are acidic in nature. These elements together with s-block elements are called Representative elements or main group elements.
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The lanthanides are a series of fifteen metal elements that are next to each other near the bottom of the periodic table. The name of the series comes from lanthanum, the element that marks the beginning of the series. All members of the series have similar chemical properties. In nature they are found together in the same minerals and they are difficult to separate into individual elements.
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