Fluorine is one of the halogens, and is very chemically reactive. It needs to to be handled very carefully as it can explode when it comes into contact with most elements. It is also the most electronegative element – this means that it attracts electrons more than any other element.
Fluorine can be created in stars, like the Sun, towards the end of their life cycle. When a star expands to become a red giant, fluorine is formed under very high pressures and temperatures. Although fluorine is so reactive, it is a vital element for humans. We need it for the solidification and maintenance of our bones. It can be found in small amounts in water, but is also added to toothpastes to help prevent dental decay.
GCSE Science students – you need to be able to describe and explain the properties of the halogens. Our new guide, “How to work with Halogens” can help. Included, as always are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
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