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Key Terms

Quiz yourself by thinking what should be in each of the black spaces below before clicking on it to display the answer.

periodic law   the law that states that the repeating chemical and physical properties of elements change periodically with the atomic numbers of the elements  
periodic table   an arrangement of the elements in order of their atomic numbers such that elements with similar properties fall in the same column, or group  
lanthanide   a member of the rare-earth series of elements, whose atomic numbers range from 58 (cerium) to 71 (lutetium)  
actinide   any of the elements of the actinide series, which have atomic numbers from 89 (actinium, Ac) through 103 (lawrencium, Lr)  
alkali metal   one of the elements of Group 1 of the periodic table (lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, and francium)  
alkaline-earth metal   one of the elements of Group 2 of the periodic table (beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium)  
transition element   one of the metals that can use the inner shell before using the outer shell to bond  
main-group element   an element in the s-block or p-block of the periodic table  
halogen   one of the elements of Group 17 of the periodic table (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine); halogens combine with most metals to form salts  
Atomic radius   one-half of the distance between the center of identical atoms that are not bonded together  
Ion   an atom, radical, or molecule that has gained or lost one or more electrons and has a negative or positive charge  
Ionization   the process of adding or removing electrons from an atom or molecule, which gives the atom or molecule a net charge  
Ionization energy   the energy required to remove an electron from an atom or ion (abbreviation, IE)  
Electron affinity   the energy needed to remove an electron from a negative ion to form a neutral atom or molecule  
Cation   an ion that has a positive charge  
Anion   an ion that has a negative charge  
Valence electron   an electron that is found in the outermost shell of an atom and that determines the atom's chemical properties  
Electronegativity   a measure of the ability of an atom in a chemical compound to attract electrons  


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