So, can someone please explain the periodic trends for ionization energy, electronegativty, and atomic radius? And why the trends are the way they are (like why ionization energy increases as you go to the right of the periodic table).


I am taking high school level chemistry and am completely stumped.

In: Chemistry

Ionization energy and electronegativity roughly correlate with the atomic radius in that a smaller atomic radius means higher ionization energy and higher electronegativity. The reason for that correlation is simply that if the radius of the atom is smaller its electrons are closer to its nucleus so they experience stronger attraction, hence it takes more energy to rip an electron off (ionization) and it’s easier to get another electron close to it (electronegativity).

The trend for the atomic radii is obviously to get larger with every row/period down, but they get smaller from left to right as the number of protons in the nucleus increases pulling each electron shell further inwards.