(b) Group 7 (halogens) – chlorine, bromine and iodine

2:05 know the colours, physical states (at room temperature) and trends in physical properties of chlorine, bromine and iodine

ElementColourState at room temp
Chlorine (Cl2)GreenGas
Bromine (Br2)Red-brownLiquid
Iodine (l2)GreySolid

Chlorine is a toxic gas, so should be handled in a fume cupboard.

2:06 use knowledge of trends in Group 7 to predict the properties of other halogens

If you look at the trends in the physical properties of the halogens, Cl2, Br2, I2 you can make predictions about the properties of the other halogens.

ElementColourState at room temp
Fluorine (F2)YellowGas
Astatine (At2)BlackSolid

2:07 understand how displacement reactions involving halogens and halides provide evidence for the trend in reactivity in Group 7

Group 7 elements are called the Halogens. As you go up group 7 (decreasing atomic number), the elements become more reactive. For example, fluorine is the most reactive and astatine is the least reactive.


A more reactive halogen will displace a less reactive halogen, e.g. chlorine will displace bromine:

By reacting a halogen solution with a potassium halide solution and making observations, the order of their reactivity can be deduced:

Potassium chloride, KCl(aq)Potassium bromide, KBr(aq)Potassium iodide, KI(aq)
Chlorine, Cl2(aq)No changeColourless to orangeColourless to brown
Bromine, Br2(aq)No changeNo changeColourless to brown
Iodine, I2(aq)No changeNo changeNo change

From the above results, chlorine displaces both bromine and iodine, and bromine displaces iodine. Therefore the order of reactivity is: chlorine is more reactive than bromine, which in turn is more reactive than iodine.

2:08 (Triple only) explain the trend in reactivity in Group 7 in terms of electronic configurations

The higher up we go in group 7 (halogens) of the periodic table, the more reactive the element. The explanation concerns how readily these elements form ions, by attracting a passing electron to fill the outer shell.

In fluorine the outer electron shell is very close to the positively charged nucleus, so the attraction between this nucleus and the negatively charged electrons is very strong. This means fluorine is very reactive indeed.

However, for iodine the outer electron shell is much further from the nucleus so the attraction is weaker. This means iodine is less reactive.

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Section 1: Principles of chemistry

      a) States of matter

      b) Atoms

      c) Atomic structure

     d) Relative formula masses and molar volumes of gases

     e) Chemical formulae and chemical equations

     f) Ionic compounds

     g) Covalent substances

     h) Metallic crystals

     i) Electrolysis

 Section 2: Chemistry of the elements

     a) The Periodic Table

     b) Group 1 elements: lithium, sodium and potassium

     c) Group 7 elements: chlorine, bromine and iodine

     d) Oxygen and oxides

     e) Hydrogen and water

     f) Reactivity series

     g) Tests for ions and gases

Section 3: Organic chemistry

     a) Introduction

     b) Alkanes

     c) Alkenes

     d) Ethanol

Section 4: Physical chemistry

     a) Acids, alkalis and salts

     b) Energetics

     c) Rates of reaction

     d) Equilibria

Section 5: Chemistry in industry

     a) Extraction and uses of metals

     b) Crude oil

     c) Synthetic polymers

     d) The industrial manufacture of chemicals

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