Key Difference – Representative vs Transition Elements
The periodic table of elements is a tabular arrangement of all known chemical elements based on their atomic numbers. There are rows or periods and columns or groups in the periodic table. There are periodic trends in the periodic table. All the elements in the periodic table can be divided into two groups as representative elements and transition elements. The key difference between representative elements and transition elements is that representative elements are the chemical elements in the group 1, group 2 and in the groups from 13 to 18 whereas transition elements are chemical elements in group 3 to group 12 including Lanthanides and Actinides.
What are Representative Elements?
Representative elements are the chemical elements in the group 1, group 2 and in the groups from 13 to 18. Representative elements are also known as “group A elements” or “s block and p block elements” or “main group elements”, meaning representative elements include the following groups of chemical elements;
S block elements (Alkali metals and alkaline earth metals)
S block elements have their valence electrons in the outermost s orbitals and are in two types as alkali metals and alkaline earth metals along with hydrogen and helium. Alkali metals are group 1 elements (excluding hydrogen) whereas alkali earth metals are group 2 elements. These metals are named as such because they form basic or alkaline compounds. Alkali metals include Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Caesium, and Francium. Alkaline earth metals include Beryllium, Magnesium, Calcium, Strontium, Barium, and Radium.
P block elements (nonmetals, halogens, noble gases)
P block elements have their valence electrons in the outermost p orbitals. Almost all the p block elements are nonmetals, including some metalloid elements (excluding Helium, because it is an s block element). There are periodic trend along periods and down the groups in the p block. Metalloids include boron, silicon, germanium, arsenic, antimony, and tellurium. Noble gases are the group 18 elements (that have completed electron configurations). All others are nonmetals.
What are Transition Elements?
Transition elements are chemical elements that have unpaired d electrons at least in a stable cation that is can form. All the transition elements are metals. They have their valence electrons in the outermost d orbitals. Therefore, all the chemical elements from group 3 to group 12 are transition metals excluding zinc (because zinc has no unpaired electrons and Zn+2 also has no unpaired electrons. Zn+2 is the only stable cation of zinc).
Almost all the transition metals have multiple stable oxidation states in different compounds. All these compounds are very colorful. And also, the captions containing the same transition elements with different oxidation states can have different colors based on the oxidation state (the color of the cation varies with the oxidation state of the same chemical element). The reason for this color is the presence of unpaired d electrons (it allows the electrons to jump from one orbital to another by absorbing energy. When these electrons come back to the previous orbital, it emits the absorbed energy as visible light).
Lanthanides and Actinides are also named as “inner transition metals” because their valence electrons are in their f orbitals of the penultimate electron shell. These elements can be seen in the f block of the periodic table.
What is the Difference Between Representative and Transition Elements?
Representative vs Transition Elements
|Representative elements are the chemical elements in the group 1, group 2 and in the groups from 13 to 18.||Transition elements are chemical elements that have unpaired d electrons at least in a stable cation that is can form.|
|Representative elements include s block and p block elements.||Transition elements include d block and f block elements.|
|Representative elements are in the group1, group 2, and in groups 13 to 18.||Transition elements are in the groups 3 to 12.|
|Most of the compounds formed by representative elements are colourless.||All the compounds formed by transition elements are colourful.|
Summary – Representative vs Transition Elements
Representative elements are the main group elements that include alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, nonmetals and noble gases. Transition metals are in the d block and the f block of the periodic table. The difference between representative elements and transition elements is that, representative elements are the chemical elements in the group 1, group 2 and in the groups from 13 to 18 whereas transition elements are chemical elements in group 3 to group 12 including Lanthanides and Actinides.
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1.’PTable structure’By Sch0013r, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Transition metal oxidation states 2’By No machine-readable author provided. Felix Wan assumed (based on copyright claims). (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia