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

1 Answer
Mar 17, 2018

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


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

#underbrace(Na(s) rarrNa^(+) + e^(-))_"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(1/2Cl_2(g) +e^(-) rarrCl^(-) )_"reduction"#