General Question

boxer3's avatar

Any chemists out there?

Asked by boxer3 (4150points) December 1st, 2010

Does anybody know why calcium has multiple ionization energies?

I know this is a pretty bland question, but I’m studying for a final exam and this is a question that I’m not positive on the answer to.

Thanks :]

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5 Answers

cazzie's avatar

Many elements do.
The energy required to remove a single electron from the highest
occupied energy level is called the first ionization energy. The energy
needed to remove a second electron from the same atom, after the first
one has already been removed, is called the second ionization energy.

Look at the removal of two electrons from a calcium (Ca) atom:
Ca + energy = Ca+ +  e-
This equation represents the 1st ionization energy.
Ca + energy = Ca2+ +  e-
This equation represents the 2nd ionization energy.

The second electron to be removed from the nucleus is more tightly
bound. This is because of a greater electrostatic attraction to the
positively charged nucleus. Therefore, it takes more energy to remove
this electron. The second ionization energy is always higher than the first.

Measuring the atomic radii of the elements correlates with the ionization
energies. As you go across a row of the periodic table, the atomic radius
of each element becomes smaller. Consider this in light of the ionization
energies. Moving from left to right across a row in the periodic table, the
ionization energies increase. The nuclear charge (the number of protons)
is increasing so the electrons are held more tightly.

Does that clear a few things up?

cazzie's avatar

‘I’m not a chemist, but I do play one on TV.’ hahaha

boxer3's avatar

@cazzie, hahaha- thank you, I appreciate it.

Zyx's avatar

I did not know the answer to this, I was just going to say I burned down a kitchen once without a spark.

boxer3's avatar

Zyx, hey- I’m impressed…

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