What is special about the electronic structure of neon and the other elements in its group?
Neon is the tenth element with a total of 10 electrons. In writing the electron configuration for neon the first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital. Since 1s can only hold two electrons the next 2 electrons for Ne go in the 2s orbital. The remaining six electrons will go in the 2p orbital. Therefore the Ne electron configuration will be 1s22s22p6. Because the second energy level (2s22p6) has eight electrons Neon has an octet and has a full outer shell. It is, therefore, a Nobel Gas. The properties of the noble gases can be well explained by modern theories of atomic structure: their outer shell of valence electrons is considered to be "full", giving them little tendency to participate in chemical reactions, and it has been possible to prepare only a few hundred noble gas compounds. The melting and boiling points for a given noble gas are close together, differing by less than 10 °C (18 °F); that is, they are liquids over only a small temperature range.
Ask a question
Get an answer in 5 minutes from expert tutors at Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and more.