[2014] HoEvelyn14: Group 16 of the periodic Table

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[2014] HoEvelyn14: Group 16 of the periodic Table


Group 16 of the periodic Table, aka the Chalcogens.

The Chalcogens all have six valence electrons. Oxygen, sulfur, and selenium are non-metals, tellurium is a metalloid, and polonium is a metal. Melting point, boiling point, density, atomic radius, and ionic radius all increase down the group (physical characteristics). The Chalcogens are highly reactive with the Alkali-Earth metals (because valence electrons add up to make a full orbit of electrons). This is a chemical property of all the chalcogens.






These are the six elements in the group of chalcogens: Oxygen, Sulfur, Selenium, Tellurium, Polonium, and Livermorium. They are located here on the periodic table of elements.


Selenium: Selenium is a solid at room temperature. It is usually red or black in amorphous form (having no definite structure), but is red or grey in crystalline form (which is the more stable form of the two). Selenium is rarely found naturally, but can appear in soils and plants. Selenium is used in the manufacture of electrical circuits/objects, because it is a semiconductor (of electricity).

Sulfur: Sulfur is a solid at room temperature. It is yellow, tasteless, and nearly odorless. Sulfur is found naturally in varying forms: in elemental sulfur, sulfides, and sulfates. It is mined from underwater deposits or quicksand. Sulfur is used to prevent fungus from forming on grapes and strawberries.

Oxygen: Oxygen is a gas at room temperature. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Oxygen is naturally found in the atmosphere, the second most abundant gas, in the human body, and in the Earth's crust. It also reacts with hydrogen to form water. Oxygen is used in the manufacturization of iron, steel, and other chemicals. Oxygen is also used in water treatment and for medicinal purposes.

Click here for a presentation on chalcogens in a nutshell.

Did You Know? Overexposure to the element Tellurium can lead to the development of a garlic-like smell on the breaths of humans.

Click for video on oxygen family


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