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Last updated date: 04th Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Nitrogen is a relatively inactive element because?

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Hint: Nitrogen is the first element of the group 15 of the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 7, which is equal to its number of protons and electrons. Nitrogen contains 5 electrons in its outer shell, and 3 electrons in the p orbital. Nitrogen in its diatomic form is capable of forming triple bonds with nitrogen.

Complete answer:
Nitrogen is the 7th element of the periodic table from group 15 and period 2. It has an electronic configuration $[He]2{{s}^{2}}2{{p}^{3}}$. Nitrogen has a small size relative to other elements of the same group; this enables nitrogen to form $p\pi $-$p\pi $ multiple bonding. This type of multiple bonding in nitrogen results in a triple bond in its diatomic molecule that is nitrogen exists as$N\equiv N$ in diatomic gas form.
The reactivity of any element depends on the ability to dissociate and form compounds with other atoms. Nitrogen in its diatomic form has a very high bond dissociation enthalpy that is about 941.4 kJ/mol. This is due to the presence of $p\pi $-$p\pi $ multiple bonding in nitrogen. As the energy is very high to break the molecule of nitrogen, this results in its un-reactive nature.
Hence, nitrogen is relatively an unreactive element due to the high bond dissociation energy of its $N\equiv N$ triple bond.

The higher elements from the same group 15 of nitrogen do not form $p\pi $-$p\pi $ multiple bonding. This is because in them there is the presence of higher atomic orbitals like 3p and 4p that are large and diffused, so these orbitals do not result in effective overlapping, therefore they do not form compounds with triple bonds like nitrogen.