Periodic Table
Elements and Compounds

Why is hydrogen located where it is in the periodic table?

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2013-03-12 10:59:08

Because Hydrogen is in the same group (I) as the alkali metals

(Li, Na, K, etc.) without being a metal!

Hydrogen and periodic table

Hydrogen (H) is separated as it has only 1 electron and so

exhibits some unique behavior.

Most elements lose or gain electrons to reach a noble gas

configuration. Most they only do one or the other (but not both

usually). For instance fluorine (F) will always gain 1 electron to

have the electronic configuration of neon (Ne), while lithium (Li)

will always lose one electron to have the configuration of helium


Hydrogen is unique in that it can both gain one electron to have

the configuration of He, or it can lose one electron and just be a

lone proton with no electrons. A half-filled shell (in this case

the 1s orbital) is very unstable. It is better to have no electrons

or two electrons. Hydrogen can behave either like an alkali metal

and be H+ (having lost 1 electron) or can act more like a halogen

and be H- (having gained 1 electron).

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