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23 July, 09:46

An unknown element, X, reacts with oxygen to form two oxides with the general formula X_2O_3 and X_2O_5. The pure element is strongly paramagnetic, and the oxides are amphoteric. Which of the following elements could be represented by X? a) Scb) Bc) Nd) Sbe) S

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  1. 23 July, 11:44
    The unknown element is Sb


    The first thing we must note is that the unknown element must be a member of group 15 in the periodic table. This is clear from the fact that the two oxides formed are X2O3 and X2O5. This implies that the unknown element X must have a valency of 3 or 5. This corresponds to our knowledge that the outermost electron configuration of group 15 elements is ns2np3. Hence, group fifteen elements can have a valency of 3 or 5.

    The electronic configuration of antimony is; [Kr]4d10 5s2 5p3. This implies that the atom is paramagnetic since there are three unpaired 5p electrons. The oxides of antimony are known to be amphoteric. An ampohoteric oxide reacts with both acid and base, hence the answer.
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