Concept

Main-group element

Summary
In chemistry and atomic physics, the main group is the group of elements (sometimes called the representative elements) whose lightest members are represented by helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and fluorine as arranged in the periodic table of the elements. The main group includes the elements (except hydrogen, which is sometimes not included) in groups 1 and 2 (s-block), and groups 13 to 18 (p-block). The s-block elements are primarily characterised by one main oxidation state, and the p-block elements, when they have multiple oxidation states, often have common oxidation states separated by two units. Main-group elements (with some of the lighter transition metals) are the most abundant elements on Earth, in the Solar System, and in the universe. Group 12 elements are often considered to be transition metals; however, zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) share some properties of both groups, and some scientists believe they should be included in t
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