# 'Stability of an atom'

Hey my question was why are atoms of elements so hyped to attain the octet(or duplet) config of an inert gas? i mean see what i think is an atom of an element normally has an equal no. of electrons and protons in it so it is electrically neutral so there should have been no question of attaining or losing electrons to disturb that 'equilibrium'. So ultimately even after been neutral why in the end they end up losing or gaining electrons to gain stability even after been 'stable'?

Note by Jun Das
5 years, 11 months ago

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The inert gases have lower potential energy compared to neighboring elements in the periodic table. Any matter on this universe, always crave for lower energy than what they already have. Lower potential energy implies higher stability. Consider the case of two vessels connected together at their bottom, with one vessel filled fully with water and another empty. As soon as they are connected, water from first vessel starts flowing into the second vessel. Why does this happen? Even though the first vessel was stable and nothing was disturbing it. It's because the water in the first vessel found a lower potential energy state in the second vessel. And water starts flowing until both their levels are same.

Same thing happens in case of atoms. Even though they are stable in their present proton-electron equilibrium, they tend to attain more higher stability (completely satisfied) by wanting to become the nearest inert gas. And as I said, this lower energy stability achievement happens everywhere in the universe. A matter will do anything in its power to achieve as low potential energy as possible.

And as the inert elements progress from top to bottom, their energy increases. So, a Fluorine will try to become a Neon, and not Helium or Argon (note all three inert elements are non-reactive and stable), because Neon is the easiest to achieve just by gaining an electron. Whereas for Helium, it has to lose 7 electrons, which an atom cannot afford because the energy required to remove those electrons will be too much. I hope you are getting my point.

It's been four years since I had last read Chemistry. But I could still remember some points. And I hope I am right here, because it proves to be logically correct. Post if you are satisfied or have anything else to ask. Thank you.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Good explanation Can you .just tell how did you know that inert gases have lower P.E? On what factors does in depend for an atom?

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I can't remember what factors does the potential energy of an atom depend on. As I said, it's been four years since I touched Chemistry. I am sorry. If anyone else could shed some light on this, it would be good!

- 5 years, 10 months ago

First of all, being neutral doesn't simply and always imply that they are stable too. Inert gases are known to be the most unreactive elments(why?because their valence shells are completely filled and they are essentially fully 'happy' with that,i.e they don't crave for more electrons) or they're stable. All other elements tend to be like the inert gases,i.e they too want to become stable by letting their valence shells filled to its limit and be 'happy' like the inert gases.So,they end up doing the business of losing electrons or gaining electrons to gain stability or to earn 'happiness'. :P...Is that clear?

- 5 years, 11 months ago

LOL nice one thnx :)

- 5 years, 11 months ago

i need proper info about atom

- 5 years, 10 months ago