A scientist performs an experiment on an unknown element. She finds that the element forms an ionic bond with beryllium (Be) but not with lithium (Li). She concludes that the unknown element must belong in group 2 of the periodic table. State whether or not you think this result supports her conclusion, and why.
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What do you think? which ones are the elements in the group 2?
In forming an ionic bond, Beryllium (being a Group 2 element) will look to give away its two valence or outer electrons to form the Be2+ ion. This ion now has a full outer shell of electrons, obtaining a Noble gas configuration (like a Group 8 element) which is highly stable and is something all atoms what to achieve when forming ionic bonds. In the case of Be2+, it now has the same electronic configuration as that of helium (He), a Group 8 element.
These two electrons will then be 'picked up' by our unknown element (lets call it A) to form the A2- ion. The electrostatic interaction between these oppositely charged ions is what leads to the formation of the ionic bond in our final compound, BeA. So, like with Be losing two electrons, it must be favorable for our unknown atom to gain two electrons to obtain a full outer shell (i.e. the same electronic configurations as one of the Group 8 elements). That must mean it is a Group 16 element, not Group 2 as the scientist seems to believe (it's helpful to look at the list of elements in both, if you have a periodic table to hand, there might be a few of them that you recognise!)
I presume that when the question refers to the fact that this element doesn't bond to lithium (Li), it means that a single atom won't bond ionically to a single atom of Li. The Group 16 element will look to gain 2 electrons into its outer shell to obtain a Noble gas configuration, whilst an Li atom (favorable to lost 1 electron to obtain the electronic configuration of the Group 8 helium atom) can only give 1 electron in forming Li+. So, two Li atoms can each donate 1 electron to our Group 16 element to form A2-, leading to both ions being in a stable form and electrostatically interacting/bonding to form the ionic compound Li2A.
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I think that elements from groups 15,16 or 17 can be reacting with the Be2+to form ionic compounds, the tricky part in the experiment is why this unknown element is not forming an ionic compound with Li. @Ciarán95 I accept your interpretation of the problem, but the problem doesn't have enough information about the ionic bound with Li.
it's very vague it can't be in group 2 because then it would be a metal, and metals don't like to gain electrons, generally speaking I guess that would be your starting point. if it's an ionic bond, then you know that one of the compounds must be a metal, the other a non metal, because electrons were transferred, not shared, which means that the electronegativity difference must have been significant enough to eliminate any type of covalent bond. @Ciarán95 though as an excellent interpretation. I agree with @Cuanchi though because I guess it's a little vague.
Yeah the question is quite vague as you mentioned @Photon ...... my interpretation may not have been correct for the reasons @Cuanchi gave. I would say that the question may be simply trying to get you to recognise that it cannot be a Group 2 element that forms the ionic bond.
Trying to pin down exactly what group of the periodic table it might be in is another question which is open to debate, especially based on the limited information we're given.....maybe there's someone else out there who might be better placed to answer that.
Did you have any ideas @madiiharrell or did you receive any feedback as to what the correct answer is yet?