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What is the difference between the ‘s’ and ‘p’ block elements and representative elements ? Why are they called so? Give the general electronic configuration of these elements.

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Last updated date: 14th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: The s-block elements are present on one side and the p-block elements are present on the opposite side of the periodic table and involve the filling of the s and p-orbitals respectively. The s-block consists of mostly metals whereas p-block consists of both metals and nonmetals. Now answer the statement.

Complete Solution :
- In the modern periodic table, the physical and chemical properties of the elements are the periodic functions of their atomic weights and the long period table has been divided into the periods (horizontal rows) and groups (vertical columns). In terms of the electron configuration, a group consists of a series of elements which have the same outermost electronic configurations but they have different total numbers of electrons. In the periodic table, there are a total 18 groups and 7 periods in all.
- The whole elements in the periodic table has been divided into the four blocks i.e. s, p ,d and f- blocks elements.
- Now coming to the statement. We will differentiate between the s and p-block elements in tabular form which is easy to understand.

Sr. no. S-block elementsp-block elements
1.The elements on the extreme left side of the periodic table are called the s-block elements.The elements on the extreme right side of the periodic table are called the p-block elements.
2.The elements belonging to the groups 1and 2 i.e. the alkali earth and alkaline earth metals belong to s-block elements.The elements belonging to the groups 13 and 18 i.e. boron, carbon and nitrogen families , chalcogens, halogens and noble gases belong to p-block elements.
3.Their general electronic configuration is as $n{{s}^{1-2}}$.Their general electronic configuration is as $n{{s}^{2}}n{{p}^{1-6}}$.
4.In this, the last electrons enter the s-orbital.In this, the last electrons enter the p-orbital.
5.It consists of only metals.It consists of metals, nonmetals and metalloids i.e. the semiconductors.
6. They are highly electropositive in nature.They are highly electronegative in nature.


- Both the s and p- block elements are collectively called as the representative elements. It is so because they are chemically very reactive metals and nonmetals and can easily attain the nearest noble gas configuration by losing or gaining the electrons from their valence shell.
- The general electronic configuration of s-block elements is as $n{{s}^{1-2}}$ and the general electronic configuration of p-block elements are as $n{{s}^{2}}n{{p}^{1-6}}$.

Note: In between these representative elements i.e. the s and the p- block elements lie the d-block elements also known as the transition metals because their properties lie in between the s and p-block elements.