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Why are non-metals gaseous at room temperature (correct answer)?

Introduction

There are around 118 known elements to us. At this point, you must be knowing of non-metals and their properties.

Let’s explore the gaseous state of non-metals.

At room temperature, majority of the non-metallic elements exist in gaseous state. In this state, they do not have a definite volume and, completely occupy the space of the container they are kept in. Let’s get into the reason to understand the gaseous state of non-metals.

Non-metallic atoms are electronegative in nature. During bond formation, they tend to accept electrons from the neighbouring atom. This leads to the formation of inter atomic bond through sharing of electrons. For example : H2, SO2 and NH3. Through this type of bond formation the molecules attain stability. Due to this, the intermolecular force of attraction gets weaker among the molecules. This results to a boiling point that is even less than the room temperature! So, non-metals are gaseous at room temperature.

Figure : Inter atomic bond between Oxygen atoms and intermolecular force of attraction between O2 molecules.

Conclusion

Due to weak intermolecular force of attraction, non-metals exist in the gaseous state at room temperature. In case of Noble gases, the atoms are highly stable due to completely filled shells or orbitals. So, the interatomic force of attraction becomes even weaker and the atoms tend to remain gaseous state.

Get to know about the gaseous state of matter –

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