Chemistry of the Main Group Elements
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The main group (s- and p-block) elements are among the most diverse in the Periodic Table. Ranging from non-metallic gases (e.g., hydrogen and fluorine), through semi-metals (e.g., metalloids such as silicon) to highly reactive metals (e.g., sodium and potassium). The study of the main group elements is important for a number of reasons. On an academic level they exemplify the trends and predictions in structure and reactivity that are the key to the Periodic Table. The main group elements represent the most prevalent elements in the Earth’s crust, as well as most of the key elements of life, and have enormous industrial, economic, and environmental importance. In this regard an understanding of the chemistry of the main group elements is vital for students within science, engineering, and medicine; however, it is hoped that those who make political and economic decisions would make better ones if they had a fraction of the knowledge of the world around them.