Which Halogen Has the Least Attraction for Electrons?

The halogen bromine is intermediate in atomic size between fluorine and astatine.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The halogens are reactive chemical elements found in Group 17 of the Periodic Table. Listed by increasing size and mass, they are: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. Fluorine has 9 electrons, chlorine has 17, bromine has 35, iodine has 53 and astatine has 85. The larger the atom, the weaker the attraction for electrons is.

Attraction and Coulomb's Law

As electrons in an atom increase in number, the atomic radius increases. The bonding of charges, such as those found in the atom, obey the mathematical relationship known as Coulomb’s Law,

F = K· Q₁Q₂ / R² = K·Q² / R²

Where F is the force of attraction between particles, K is a constant, Q is the charge of both the proton and the electron and R is the distance apart on average. From this equation it is seen, the larger an atom is the weaker the attraction for electrons is.

Additional Factors

All of an atom’s positive charge is at its center. Electrons closer to the center are held more tightly as proton number increases. However, outermost electrons are held less tightly because inner electrons shield them. For this reason, it is astatine that has the least attraction for its outer electrons. It also has the least tendency to gain more.

Related Articles

Relationship Between the Atomic Number & the Chemical...
Relationship Between the Atomic Number and the Chemical...
Why Does the Boiling Point Increase When the Atomic...
What Is the Effect of Atomic Radius on the Chemical...
Which of the Metalloids Has the Smallest Atomic Radius?
What Affects the Atomic Radius?
The Locations of Protons, Neutrons and Electrons within...
Characteristics of a Proton
How to Calculate the Radius of an Atom
How to Find the Mass Number of Bromine With 46 Neutrons
What Is a Noble Gas Configuration?
Does the Nucleus of an Atom Have Much of an Effect...
How Many Protons Does Calcium Have?
What Are the Similarities & Differences Between the...
Number of Protons in an Uncharged Atom
Chemical Bonding Rules
How to Determine If the Bond Between Two Atoms Is Polar?
How to Find Out If an Element Is an Ion
How to Build an Atom Science Project