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Secondary IV • 9mo.


Could you explain to me what are the differences between the families of the periodic table please?

Thank you so much!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 9mo.


    Thank you for your question 😉

    Before we start, a family in the periodic table corresponds to a column.

    There are eight families in the periodic table and each element of the same family has the same number of valence electrons.

    Only four families are being studied, that is to say the first two and the last two, the others are too similar to each other. Here they are:

    • Alkalis

    Alkalis are located in the first column of the periodic table, except hydrogen, it is family I. The elements all have a single valence electron and they are soft metals. Also, they are very reactive and we always find them linked to other elements in nature.

    • The alkaline earth

    Alkaline earth are the elements of the second column, so this family II. Alkaline earths all have two electrons and they are soft metals, but less than alkalis. Also, they are reactive, but less than alkalis. They are essential for the proper functioning of living things. For example, calcium (Ca) is essential for healthy bones.

    • Halogens

    Halogens are the elements of the penultimate column of the periodic table, it is then family VII. Halogens all have seven valence electrons and are non-metals. They are very reactive and even corrosive. They are commonly used in disinfectants, such as iodine disinfectants used in hospitals.

    • Inert gases (or noble gases)

    Inert gases are the elements of the last column of the periodic table, it is then the VIII family. Noble gases have eight valence electrons, except helium. They have therefore reached the byte and they are very stable. They are gases, therefore non-metals, and they have a very low chemical reactivity as the inert term of their name suggests. Also, these are gases that are very rarely found in nature.

    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to let us know! 😊