How do you determine first ionization energy?


Quick Answer

To determine first ionization energy, one must know the element being used. First ionization energy shows periodically through the table of elements in a repetitive pattern. First ionization energy is the amount of energy required to remove an electron from one mole of gaseous atoms to produce one mole of gaseous ions with a positive charge.

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Full Answer

  1. Find the charge of the nucleus

    The more protons there are in the nucleus, the stronger the attraction of the electrons. Therefore, a greater first ionization energy is needed as the nucleus becomes more positively charged.

  2. Find the distance between the electron and the nucleus

    No matter the charge of a nucleus, if the electron is far enough away, its attraction is much weaker; thus, the first ionization energy is smaller.

  3. Determine the location of the electron

    Electrons in the outer layer feel a smaller net pull than one in the inner layer, and therefore, they require a smaller ionization energy. This is because the inner layer of electrons shields the outer electrons from the attraction of the nucleus.

  4. Determine whether it is a single or paired electron

    Paired electrons actually require less energy to remove than a single electron because they tend to repulse each other.

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