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Why is the boiling point of iron higher than magnesium?

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There are two main reasons:

  1. Metallic bonding is more prevalent for transition metal elements because there are more electrons available for delocalization (from s and d orbitals), while Magnesium has only s electrons
  2. Fe has a higher atomic mass than Mg --> van der Waals forces are stronger.
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  • $\begingroup$ Is there any impact on the atomic radius too? $\endgroup$ – Ramith Hettiarachchi Feb 6 '15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ It is an unrelated property, transition metals tend to have smaller atomic radii than group 1 or 2 elements because of d-metal contraction due to poor shielding of d-electrons $\endgroup$ – Jeanno Feb 6 '15 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ vdW forces aren't important here. Also related chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/23960/… $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Feb 6 '15 at 16:55

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