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    First Ionization Energy

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    For each of the following pairs, which element has the larger first ionization energy? Please provide a detailed explanation.

    a. Rb, Mo
    b. N, P
    c. Ga, Cl
    d. Pb, Rn

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    Solution Preview

    Ionization energy is the energy required to pull an electron away from an atom's orbit, such that the atom is now an ion. The first ionization energy refers to the distinct amount of energy specific to each element required to pull the very first electron out of valence orbit. How tightly an atom holds on to valence electrons will depend mainly on two factors: the number of protons the atom has and the overall size of the elemental atom, which practically translates into how far away the valence orbit electrons are from the nucleus.

    The farther these electrons are, the less held together they are by the nucleus, the easier it is to pull off, the ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution provides steps to determine which element has the larger first ionization energy.