Chem Explorers

Exploring the Noble Nature of Argon: Properties Electron Configuration and Practical Applications

Argon is a colorless and odorless gas with an atomic number of 18 and the symbol Ar. As one of the noble gases, argon is known for its non-reactive nature and full valence electron shell. In this article, we will examine different aspects of argon, including its properties, ionization energy, and classification as a noble gas.

Why Argon has No Electronegativity

Argon has a full outer valence shell, meaning it has a complete octet of electrons. With eight valence electrons, argon has the maximum number of electrons that can occupy the outermost shell.

As a result, it has no tendency to attract electrons towards itself, leading to the absence of electronegativity. It is important to note that there is no data for electronegativity for noble gases, including argon.

Why Argon is a Noble Gas

Argon belongs to the noble gas group, also known as the inert or rare gases. This group consists of helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.

These elements are highly unreactive since they have a full valence electron shell. Due to this stability, they are referred to as noble gases.

Argon has filled its outermost electron shell, making it non-reactive with other elements.

Argon Ionization Energy

The ionization energy is the energy required to remove an electron from an atom. For argon, it takes more energy to remove its electrons as compared to potassium, sodium, and chlorine.

Argon has 3p orbitals that contain six valence electrons, which are tightly bound to the nucleus. The first ionization energy of argon is higher than the ionization energy of sodium and lower than the ionization energy of chlorine.

The second ionization energy is much higher.

Comparison with Other Elements

When comparing argon with other elements in the periodic table, notable differences can be observed in their ionization energy. Potassium has a lower ionization energy as compared to argon since potassium has a valence electron in a higher energy level.

Sodium, on the other hand, has a much lower ionization energy than argon due to its loosely bound 3s electron. Chlorine’s ionization energy is slightly lower than argon due to its loosely bound 3p electron.

Physical Properties of Argon

Argon is an inert gas, meaning it does not readily react with other elements. It is also odorless and colorless, making it useful in applications where the presence of other gases or impurities is undesirable.

Argon is non-combustible, which means it cannot easily catch fire, making it a safer alternative to other gases.

Why Argon is a Stable Element

Argon is a stable element because it has a full valence electron shell. Since it has filled all vacancies in its outermost shell, there is no need for the atom to gain or lose an electron to create a stable configuration.

This gives argon a lower likelihood of reacting with other elements to form compounds.


Argon is an essential element that has found a broad range of applications, including in welding, lighting, and medical procedures. Its unreactive nature and non-toxic properties make it a safe alternative to other gases in a variety of fields.

Understanding the properties and ionization energy of argon provides significant insight into its unique qualities.

Electron Configuration of Argon

The electron configuration of an atom provides information about the distribution of electrons in its shells. This information can help determine an element’s reactivity, chemical properties, and various physical characteristics.

Argon has an electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p6, which indicates that it has a filled outer shell of eight electrons. In this section, we will explore the significance of argon’s electron configuration.

Argon’s Electron Configuration

To understand the electron configuration of argon, we need to examine its atomic structure. The atomic number of argon is 18, which means it has 18 protons and 18 electrons.

The first two electrons occupy the 1s orbital, the next two electrons fill the 2s orbital, and the remaining four electrons go into the 2p orbitals. The 2p orbital, however, can only hold a maximum of six electrons.

The last six electrons in the 2p orbital are temporary until argon’s third shell is filled. Argon’s third shell contains the 3s and 3p subshells.

The 3s subshell holds two electrons while the 3p subshell can hold up to six electrons. In argon, the 3s subshell contains two electrons, and the 3p subshell contains six electrons, making a total of eight electrons.

The eight electrons fill the outermost shell, making the electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p6.

Significance of Argon’s Electron Configuration

Argon’s electron configuration is essential for its stability and unreactive nature.

The filled p subshell is the reason for argon’s non-reactive state. Argon’s completely filled octet with eight valence electrons does not require any other elements to pair up with.

Being a noble gas, argon’s outer shell is similar to the helium group, except for the value of ‘n’. This means that argon has a very low tendency to form compounds.

This complete configuration gives argon no electronegativity. Electronegativity measures an element’s ability to attract electrons towards itself when it is part of a compound or molecule.

The absence of electronegativity shows that argon does not react with other elements to form compounds. Additionally, argon’s high ionization energy can be attributed to its electron configuration.

Argon’s removal of its electrons requires significant energy due to its stable valence shell. This high ionization energy is essential in applications such as welding, where argon gas is used to shield the weld area, preventing oxidation and contamination.

The stable electronic configuration of argon also ensures its longevity as it is chemically inert and resistant to decomposition. In conclusion, the electron configuration of argon plays a critical role in determining its reactivity and chemical properties.

Argon’s electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p6, complete valence shell and lack of electronegativity make it a very stable element. Its high ionization energy and stable electronic configuration give argon a broad range of practical applications in the industrial sector, medical sector and scientific research.

In summary, argon is a chemically unreactive, noble gas with an electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p6, which gives it a full outer valence shell and an absence of electronegativity. Its electron configuration and stable valence shell contribute to its high ionization energy, making it useful in medical, industrial and scientific applications.

Argon’s stable properties, however, also make it an element with limited applications in chemistry. As a noble gas, argon is unreactive and considered stable, making it a suitable gas for various applications where stability is a key factor.


Q. What is the electron configuration of argon?

A. Argon has an electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p6, which means its outer valence shell is completely filled.

Q. Why does argon have no electronegativity?

A. Argon has no electronegativity because it has a full outer valence shell, which means it does not have a tendency to attract electrons towards itself.

Q. Why is argon a noble gas?

A. Argon is a noble gas because it has a full outer valence shell, which makes it unreactive with other elements.

Q. What is the significance of argon’s electron configuration?

A. Argon’s electron configuration is significant because it explains its stable and unreactive nature, as well as its high ionization energy.

Q. What are the practical applications of argon?

A. Argon has broad practical applications, including use in welding, lighting, and medical procedures due to its stable properties and low chemical reactivity.

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