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Which has more in common chemically with oxygen: sulfur or xenon? 

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mgoun | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:24 AM via web

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Which has more in common chemically with oxygen: sulfur or xenon? 

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 17, 2012 at 6:11 AM (Answer #1)

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The chemical properties of an element are dependent on its electron configuration. Oxygen has an electron configuration of 1s22s22p4. There are 6 electrons in the outermost shell and oxygen requires 2 more electrons to achieve a stable electron configuration with 8 electrons in its outermost shell.

Sulfur has an electron configuration of [Ne]3s23p4. There are 6 electrons in the outermost shell and sulfur requires 2 more electrons to achieve a stable electron configuration of 8 electrons in the outermost shell.

Xenon on the other hand is a noble gas and has a stable outermost shell. It does not have to react with any other chemical to achieve a stable electron configuration.

This makes the chemical properties of oxygen common to that of sulfur rather than xenon.

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