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= 2x(4) 2 = 2x16 = 32

The outermost shell of an atom cannot accommodate more than 8 electrons, even if it has a capacity to accommodate more electrons. This is a very important rule and is also called the Octet rule. The presence of 8 electrons in the outermost shell makes the atom very stable. Electronic Configuration of an Element The arrangement of electrons in the various shells/orbits/energy levels of an atom of the element is known as electronic configuration. Keeping the Bohr and Bury rules in mind let us write the electronic configuration of elements. Electronic Configurations of Some Important Elements (Inert gases are indicated in blue)

The next 2 electrons go to the M Shell. Example: 2 .Geometric Representation of Atomic Structure Example: 1 Steps: The first 2 electrons will go to the 1st shell = K Shell (2n2) The next shell L takes a maximum of 8 electrons (2n2) In this way 2 + 8 = 10 electrons have been accommodated.

Atomic parameters of the first twenty elements .


Atomic structures of the First Twenty Elements .

electrons are either given out from the outermost shell. or accepted into the outermost shell. or shared with the electrons in the outermost shell of another element.Valence Shell and Valence Electron The outermost shell of an atom is called its Valence shell. It is the decisive shell during a chemical reaction. . The electrons of only this outermost shell are involved during chemical combinations.

It is a non-metal as it has 6 valence electrons C . How many valence and core electrons do the following have? (a) Al : 2. core electrons = 10 (b) Valence electrons = 2.2 + 8 = 10 Significance of Valence Electrons Valence electrons of an atom are responsible for chemical reactions as they take part in them. 7 (d) Ca : 2. 2 Solution : (a) Valence electrons = 3. Example: 1 The electronic configurations of some of the elements are detailed below.Example: KLM Na . Elements having 4 to 7 electrons in their valence shell are non-metals.1 Core electrons . 8.2. 8. 8. The number of the valence shell in an atom determines its position in the Periodic Table i. 6 . core electrons = 10 (c) Valence electrons = 7. All alkali metals have one valence electron in their atom. 2 or 3 electrons in the valence shell are metals. 8. 8. 2 (c) Cl : 2. 3 (b) Mg: 2. Elements having 1. the period to which the element belongs. 6 . Elements having same number of valence electrons in their atoms possess similar chemical properties.It is a metal as it has 2 valence electrons B .M Valence electrons . 8.It is a non-metal as it has 6 valence electrons . core electrons = 10 (d) Valence electrons = 2. Exception is H and He. core electrons = 18 Example: 2 Classify the following elements as metals or non-metals based on valence electrons: Solution: A . 8.2 8 1 Valence shell .e. their chemical properties are similar. Thus.2. 2 .11 .2.

20. 8. sodium is placed in period 3 of the periodic table. Example: 4 Determine the period to which calcium (Ca . 2. 8 . Hence its valency is four.17 : 2.17).11. Solution: Ca . 6 Valency = 8 . 8.3 Therefore. It is the number of electrons in an atom that actually take part in bond formation.Number of valence electrons =8-7 =1 Example 2: Determine the valency of oxygen (O . 8. Solution: Na .11) belongs. 2 Number of the valence shell .Number of valence electrons =8-6 =2 .e.Example: 3 Determine the period to which sodium (Na . Solution: Cl .8).20) belongs. 8. Solution: 0 .Number of valence electrons = Valency Example:1 Determine the valency of chlorine (Cl . The valency of an element can also be calculated by finding the number of electrons required to complete octet (8) i. 7 Valency = 8 .8 : 2. Valency Valency is the combining capacity of an element. carbon atom with an atomic number 6 has 4 valence electrons. 2.4 Therefore.. KL C6 2 4 Carbon atom is capable of forming 4 bonds. 1 Number of the valence shell . Calculation of Valency The number of valence electrons is the valency of the element. sodium belongs to period 4 of the periodic table. For example.

8. Some examples are listed below: Hydrogen Hydrogen atom (Z = 1) has no neutrons. 8. The outermost shells of the noble gases helium. 1 Since the outermost shell of element A is completely filled it is stable and unreactive. Solution: Electron configuration: Number of valence electrons = 7 Valency = 8 . its valency = 0. Hence their valency is zero. argon. Let us test our understanding of valency and valence electrons before we proceed ahead.Electron configuration: 2. 8. Example 1: Calculate number of valence electrons. the valency and valence shell of an atom whose atomic number is 17. krypton etc. are completely filled. Isotopes It is interesting to note that atoms of a given atomic number can have different number of neutrons. Element B has one electron in its valence shell thus it is more reactive. element A of atomic number 36 or element B of atomic number 19? Solution: A (36) .Electron configuration: 2. Such elements are very un-reactive and inert by nature.7 = 1 Valence shell = M Example 2: Which of the two elements would be more reactive. 18. neon. 8 B (19) .If the outermost shell of an atom is completely filled. Number of protons = 1 Number of electrons = 1 .

e. Atoms of elements having the same atomic number with different mass numbers are called isotopes..Number of neutrons = 0 It has been reported that the hydrogen element has atoms with mass number 2 and 3 also i. Nuclear composition of isotopes of chlorine: .

Reason for Fractional Atomic Masses of Elements Atomic masses of many elements are in fractions not in whole numbers. melting points and boiling points etc. Example: Cl . The physical properties of the isotopes are different due to the difference in the number of neutrons in their nuclei.63. are slightly different.5 .Nuclear composition of isotopes of carbon: Characteristics of Isotopes All isotopes of an element have the same number of valence electrons thus have identical chemical properties.35. The densities.5 Cu ..