Sodium is much more apt to exist as a positive ion than is chlorine. Why does this occur?

Mar 17, 2018

Why? Well, this is the reason why educators teach electronic structure....

Explanation:

Metals are electron-rich materials....i.e. they are good reductants, and are LIKELY to lose electrons in their reaction chemistry....e.g.

${\underbrace{N a \left(s\right) \rightarrow N {a}^{+} + {e}^{-}}}_{\text{oxidation}}$

On the other hand, elemental chlorine comes from the opposite side of the Periodic Table; these are electron-poor materials with HIGH nuclear charge. And so these non-metals are OXIDIZING, they tend to accept electrons....

${\underbrace{\frac{1}{2} C {l}_{2} \left(g\right) + {e}^{-} \rightarrow C {l}^{-}}}_{\text{reduction}}$