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Halogens: Characteristics of Halogens

What are halogens? What are the characteristics of halogens? What are its various properties and utilities? Let's find out.

The halogen family comprises of a collection of non metallic elements. This series of elements fall under Group 17 of the periodic table of chemical elements. The elements that comprise of the halogen family of chemical elements include chlorine, fluorine, iodine, bromine and astatine. Ununseptium, which is not a naturally occurring element, is also believed by many to be a halogen. One of the most unique characteristics of halogens is that this is the only element group in the entire periodic table which is composed of elements that belong to all three classical states of matter solid, liquid and gas when !ept under standard conditions for pressure and temperature. Let's ta!e a detailed loo! at various halogen characteristics to get to !now this group of elements more closely.

Halogen Family Characteristics


"ere is a list of halogen characteristics that are unique to all constituents of this group of elements. These characteristics of halogens set the elements belonging to this elemental group apart from all other groups and elements of the periodic table. #ll halogenic elements are e$tremely reactive. %ue to this tendency towards high reactivity, the halogens cannot e$ist in the environment as pure elements. They are usually found occurring as compounds or as ions.

&ost halogen ions and atoms can be found combined with the other chemical matters present in the sea or mineral water. This is because, halogen elements tend to create salt when they come in contact with metals and combine with them to form compounds. #s mentioned previously, halogens are the only element group in the entire periodic table which is composed of elements that belong to all three classical states of matter solid, liquid and gas. This is proved by the fact that when !ept under room temperature and normal pressure, astatine and iodine ta!e the form of solids, bromine appears as a liquid and chlorine and fluorine occur as gases. #ll halogen elements form hydrogen halides, which are very strong acids, when they combine with hydrogen and form binary compounds. On reacting among themselves within the halogen group, halogen elements form diatomic inter halogen compounds. "alogens get their high tendency to react with other matter due to the high levels of electronegativity of their atoms which is a result of the high effective nuclear charge of all halogen atoms. 'iological life forms may e$perience harmful effects if they are e$posed to either large quantities of halogens or to moderate quantities for long durations.

Halogen Properties
#ll halogen characteristics can be attributed as occurring due to the innate physical and chemical properties that the elements of this group possess in common. The following table summari(es the various physical and chemical properties of halogens.

HALOGEN PROPERTIE Physical Properties Chemical Properties of of Halogens Halogens


"alogens e$ist in all three classical states of matter solid, liquid and gas. #ll halogens are electronegative. They gain electrons very fast ma!ing them most reactive of all

chemical elements. "alogens easily dissociate into "alogens are diatomic when !ept atomic particles and can combine under room temperature. with surrounding elements to form compounds. "alogens li!e fluorine, bromine and chlorine are poisonous in nature, each having different levels of to$icity. )o halogen is completely colorless. *n their solid forms, all halogens have a brittle te$ture. When combined with hydrogen, halogens produce halides which are very strong acidic compounds. Typical to non metals, halogens have very low melting and boiling points. "alogens are poor conductors of heat and electricity, irrespective of their physical state.

That pretty much summari(es the characteristics of halogens. +arious halogens are used by us in many wal!s of our lives. ,ses of halogens include harnessing them as !ey ingredients for manufacturing disinfectants, refrigerants, insecticides, food colorings, dyes, petroleum products, flame proofing agents, etc. "alogen lamps are manufactured by filling inert gas, containing a small amount of either iodine or bromine, inside a bulb that has a tungsten filament. The halogen and tungsten react in such a way that the lamp can wor! at a higher temperature without the bulb getting dar!ened. #mong all halogens, the uses of astatine have not been ascertained yet.