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Why oxygen is a fairly reactive element while neon is not?


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June 08, 2010 4:35AM

It all has to do with the amount of valence electrons in the atom. In oxygen, there are 6 valence electrons. Because the shell is not full, it is essentially 'looking' for 2 more electrons to fill the shell. This means that it can react with other atoms to create the oxygen ion. Neon, on the other hand, is a noble gas that has a full outer shell. It does not need another electron to fill it up.