Countless entries exist in published books and online blogs about chemistry and the numerous concepts associated with the subject. In pompous arrogance, I will redundantly create my own version of information, because I feel that I can convey this information in an effective manner. This blog entry will cover what I feel are some basic concepts of the elements that comprise nature. I’ll attempt to convey some information about atoms, and the periodic table. This blog entry will take the approach of conceptual general chemistry. I may venture into quantum levels of chemistry at a later date.
To begin with, the construction of the Periodic Table of Elements was not performed at random. The Periodic Table of Elements is a brilliantly designed tool laid out in a highly specific manner to allow for rapid access to a large quantity of information about each element. Firstly, the Periodic Table is laid out in horizontal fashion by atomic number. Furthermore, the Periodic Table is...
We customarily teach atoms as “wanting” to fill their valence shells with electrons, thus setting up the whole of chemistry with covalent or ionic bonds. But what’s really in it for atoms to form covalent bonds?
Turns out not to be so simple! Isolated atoms DON'T particularly tend to pick up, nor lose, free electrons; they are quite happy as neutral particles. Extra electrons would repel each other on an atom (ion), which is not energetically favorable unless the ion is stabilized somehow. And a loss of electrons would lead to a cation disposed to reacquire the electrons lost. That’s NOT evidence of “wanting to fill” the valence shell!
So, consider instead what’s in it for each of the subatomic particle types in two atoms near each other that could share electrons. First, for the nuclei, there’s no advantage in bonding! If anything, if the shared electrons didn’t completely screen out the positive charges of the two nuclei from each other, they would repel each other ferociously...