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Homework Help: Why is ionization of sodium endothermic?

  1. Aug 27, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    State whether ionization is an endothermic or an exothermic process.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know what exothermic and endothermic mean, and I know that the answer is that ionization of sodium is an endothermic process, but I don't know why and I'm hoping someone can explain it to me? What's going on that requires energy to be absorbed during the reaction?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2013 #2
    Since you know the meaning of endothermic, you might understand the ionisation of sodium if you know what ionization means....
  4. Aug 28, 2013 #3
    I believe I do know what ionization means.

    I want to think (intuitively) that because ionization of an atom brings it to a more stable state, energy has been released. If I am misunderstanding the question, please let me know. This stuff is reasonably new to me, even if it seems obvious to you.
  5. Aug 28, 2013 #4
    Seen in this way;

    Na+ + e-=> Na

    to get from left to right, do we need energy, or it's excess of it?
  6. Aug 30, 2013 #5
    Its OK.
    Yes, Removing an electron from sodium makes it more stable. But the thing is, by the definition of ionization you need to supply energy to an atom so that you could remove an electron. Although removing an electron from sodium makes it more stable, you still have to give energy in order to do that. It is just that the process is much easier. All it takes is a 'little' energy so that after giving it the electron would easily come out.
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