# The Group Meeting and An Argument

I was just coming back from my classes in the evening when I heard voices coming from an old house. So, being naturally curious, I figured there were groups of people and eavesdropped and here's what I heard.

Group A- We are being left out and being isolated by you guys. We are disappointed by this.

Group B- That is because you guys are just selfish. You never share with us or mingle with us. Well, maybe apart from you,(points to one of the members of Group A) You are at least better than some of the others of your group as told by our best friends to us. See and learn from Group C. You should see how they are always ready to even receive things from us in trouble. They are our best pals.

Group C- Yeah, Group B is right. We always accept help from them which in turn is beneficial to them, in our times of need and hence, our friendship is so strong. You guys(To Group A) just don't share anything. How can you expect us to be your friends?

Group D- Hey, don't brag too much. (To Group C), You need two of you to manage single one of ours. And You guys( To Group B), just because you are slightly better than us, it doesn't mean that you have the right to bully those guys. And now, when we look carefully, You(pointing to one of the members) are more like us than them. You should probably join us.

Group E- (I noticed only one of them spoke for a long time) Hey guys, just calm down. Look at us. We are possibly one of the nicest guys around here. I, for example, share freely with everyone. He,(pointing to one of the members of his group) helps to extend things. You guys(pointing to Group C) tend to bully us and take away most of our things on the guise of sharing it. I can tell with the confidence of all the other members, who have missed this meeting today, that you guys are possibly the biggest bully around here.

At this stage, I noticed one guy entered into the house from outside. After his arrival, here's what I heard:

Group E- Ah, welcome. Where had you been? You are my best pal around here. Always helpful. Group B- You don't have a group. How is that possible? Anyway, come to us.. You resemble us.

Group C- NO! You would come to us. You resemble us in many more ways.

And thus an argument started in the old house. And things began to go ugly. So, at that time, I decided to go away from there.

While returning home, I walked silently, smiling at the thing that I had witnessed. Well, it fitted everything I knew.

Question is,Can you find out who are those groups?

I think these are

groups in the periodic table of elements.

Specifically:

Group A- We are being left out and being isolated by you guys. We are disappointed by this.

These are the "noble gases", which don't react with anything.

Group B- That is because you guys are just selfish. You never share with us or mingle with us. Well, maybe apart from you,(points to one of the members of Group A) You are at least better than some of the others of your group. See and learn from Group C. You should see how they are always ready to even receive things from us in trouble. They are our best pals.

These are the alkali metals, group 1 in the periodic table. When they react with things in group C, as we'll see, they give them electrons. I'm not sure about the exceptional member of group A -- before a recent edit it looked as if group B were the halogens, and then the existence of xenon fluorides is a sufficient explanation -- but so far as I know there are no compounds formed from alkali metals and noble gases.

Group C- Yeah, Group B is right. We always accept help from them which in turn is beneficial to them, in our times of need and hence, our friendship is so strong. You guys(To Group A) just don't share anything. How can you expect us to be your friends?

These are the halogens, group VII in old notation and group 17 nowadays. When they react with things in group B, they accept electrons from the group-B elements. So, e.g., table salt is sodium chloride, NaCl; it's a crystal in which are interleaved positive sodium ions (they've given away an electron) and negative chlorine ions (they've received an electron). The noble gases, though, have no inclination either to give or to receive; their electron shells are perfectly filled. (With, as I mentioned above, the exception of xenon.)

Group D- Hey, don't brag too much. (To Group C), You need two of you to manage single one of ours. And You guys( To Group B), just because you are slightly better than us, it doesn't mean that you have the right to bully those guys. And now, when we look carefully, You(pointing to one of the members) are more like us than them. You should probably join us.

These are the alkaline earth metals, group 2 in the periodic table. When they form halogen compounds, they're in the ratio 2:1; e.g., calcium chloride is $\textrm{CaCl}_2$. The odd one out is probably lithium, which somewhat resembles magnesium and is less absurdly reactive than the other alkali metals.

Group E- (I noticed only one of them spoke for a long time) Hey guys, just calm down. Look at us. We are possibly one of the nicest guys around here. I, for example, share freely with everyone. He,(pointing to one of the members of his group) helps to extend things. You guys(pointing to Group C) tend to bully us and take away most of our things on the guise of sharing it. I can tell with the confidence of all the other members, who have missed this meeting today, that you guys are possibly the biggest bully around here.

This paragraph confuses me, I suspect because I am not expert enough in chemistry. I guess this is the group formerly known as Group IV and now as group 14, the one containing carbon and silicon. The talk of sharing probably points to covalent bonding, and the remark about group C might be because the bonds in e.g. halocarbon molecules are a kinda hybrid between covalent and ionic ("take away most of our things in the guise of sharing"). OP explains: "helping to extend things" refers to silicones; "the other members" refers to the elements of the other groups; and Bully here refers to the high electronegativity of halogens.

The new guy

is hydrogen. If I'm right about group E then their representative's comment is probably a reference to the hydrocarbons. You can make a case for grouping hydrogen with either the alkali metals (exactly one electron in outer shell) or the halogens (exactly one electron missing in outer shell) but really hydrogen is pretty much unique ("you don't have a group").

Group E- Ah, welcome. Where had you been? You are my best pal around here. Always helpful.

If I've identified group E correctly, I guess it is carbon speaking and this is a reference to the hydrocarbons.

Group B- You don't have a group. How is that possible? Anyway, come to us.. You resemble us.

Hydrogen indeed doesn't really have a group; it's something of a special case. But it resembles group B, the alkali metals, in having exactly one electron in its outer shell.

Group C- NO! You would come to us. You resemble us in many more ways.

On the other hand, hydrogen resembles group C, the halogens, in having exactly one electron "missing" in its outer shell. OP explains: And also resembles them more than group B because hydrogen is not a metal.

• Yes, just need to figure out the right groups.. – Sid Oct 16 '16 at 16:20
• Oh, wait, I just noticed I completely misread something near the end of group B's statement. That explains a thing or two. – Gareth McCaughan Oct 16 '16 at 18:54
• ... oh, no, wait, I didn't misread it, you changed it to say the opposite of what it said before :-). – Gareth McCaughan Oct 16 '16 at 18:54
• Is this better now? There are still some things I am not at all sure I've understood right. – Gareth McCaughan Oct 16 '16 at 19:16
• Yeah... I was an idiot. For some unexplainable reason, I thought halogens donate electrons to alkali metals. And that was XeF6 as you found out. I should have put it in Group C, I messed up a bit there... – Sid Oct 17 '16 at 10:34