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What is the basic difference between the terms electron gain enthalpy and electronegativity?

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Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: The electronegativity and the electron gain enthalpy differ in the state of atom (free as in element or bound as in compound).

Complete step by step answer:
Electronegativity is defined as the tendency of the atom of an element in a chemical compound to attract a shared pair of electrons towards it in a covalent bond.
A number of electronegativity scales are present. These include Pauling scale, Milliken-Jaffe scale, Allred Kochow scale etc. Out of these scales, Pauling scale is usually used in which fluorine (the most electronegative element) was arbitrarily assigned a value of 4.0.

Electron gain enthalpy is defined as the enthalpy change when a neutral gaseous atom takes up an extra electron to form an anion.

Electron gain enthalpy is the tendency of an isolated gaseous atom to accept an additional electron to form a negative ion. Electronegativity is the tendency of the atom of an element in a chemical compound to attract a shared pair of electrons towards it in a covalent bond.
Electronegativity is a qualitative measure. It is not a measurable quantity.
However, electron gain enthalpy is a quantitative measure. It is a measurable quantity.

Note:
Electron gain enthalpy is closely related to electron affinity but significantly differs from electronegativity.
Electron affinity is similar to electron gain enthalpy. When a neutral gaseous electron gains an electron, the energy change is called electron affinity. In covalent compounds, electronegativity gives the measure of tendency of the atom to attract a shared pair of electrons towards it.