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Chalcogen

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(Redirected from Group 16 element)

The chalcogens are the name for the periodic table group 16 (old-style: VIB or VIA) in the periodic table. It is sometimes known as the oxygen family. It consists of the elements oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), the radioactive polonium (Po), and the synthetic ununhexium (Uuh). Their compounds, particularly the sulfides, selenides, and tellurides are collectively known as chalcogenides.

The name is generally considered to mean "ore former" from the Greek chalcos "ore" and -gen "formation". [1] (http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/Journal/Issues/1997/Sep/abs1063.html)

Oxygen and sulfur are nonmetals, and polonium, selenium and tellurium are metalloid semiconductors (i.e., their electrical properties are between those of a metal and an insulator). Nevertheless, tellurium, as well as selenium, is often referred to as a metal when in elemental form.

Chalcogenides are quite common as minerals. For example, FeS2 (pyrite) is an iron ore and AuTe2 gave its name to the gold rush town of Telluride, Colorado in the United States.

The formal oxidation number of the chalcogen is generally -2 in a chalcogenide but other values (e.g. -1 in pyrite) can be attained.

The highest formal oxidation number +6 is found in sulfates, selenates and tellurates, e.g. in Na2SeO4 (sodium selenate). Modern chemical understanding based on quantum theory somewhat outdates the use of formal oxidation numbers in favour of a many-electron wavefunction approach allowing detailed computer simulation, though kitchen chemists may still find them useful.

See also

External links

de:Chalkogene eo:Elemento de grupo 16 fr:Chalcogne it:Gruppo dell'ossigeno nl:Zuurstofgroep ja:酸素族元素 pt:Calcognio sv:Syregruppen zh:氧族元素

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