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Sep28-11, 01:05 PM
P: 181
Wikipedia says they are synonymous.

Ionization energy is how much energy it takes to abstract an electron from an atom. A molecule with a low ionization energy can more easily be ionized. It seems weird to call this a low ionization potential though. You are trying to say it can easily be ionized, but you would call that a "low ionization potential"? That makes it sound like it ISN'T easy to ionize it.

So, are they the same thing or are they opposites?

Also, why does IE decrease down a group? The explanation given is that the electrons are further from the nucleus. But Z(effective) increases down a group. Who cares if they are further away if they are feeling more charge from the nucleus?
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