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Author Topic: Determining Valence Electrons from Electron Configuration  (Read 21159 times)

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Fourier

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Determining Valence Electrons from Electron Configuration
« on: July 05, 2008, 03:11:51 PM »

I am confused on how to determine the number of valence electrons an atom has when you are given the electron configuration.  Is there a quick, easy method?  I think my method is incorrect.

Take arsenic for example.  The electron configuration is 1s22s22p63s23p64s23d104p3.
The number of electrons in the 4th shell is 5.  Therefore, I assumed there were 5 valence electrons.   This agrees with my periodic table showing the element listed in group 5A.

Then I tried to determine the number of valence electrons in nickel by looking at its electron configuration - 1s22s22p63s23p64s23d8.

The outermost shell is 3.  However, there are not 16 valence electrons.  Apparently, we only count the electrons in the 3d subshell.  Why do we only count the electrons in the 3d subshell unlike arsenic, where we counted the both the 4s and 4p subshells?

Thanks
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vhpk

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Re: Determining Valence Electrons from Electron Configuration
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 04:52:03 PM »

I am confused on how to determine the number of valence electrons an atom has when you are given the electron configuration.  Is there a quick, easy method?  I think my method is incorrect.

Take arsenic for example.  The electron configuration is 1s22s22p63s23p64s23d104p3.
The number of electrons in the 4th shell is 5.  Therefore, I assumed there were 5 valence electrons.   This agrees with my periodic table showing the element listed in group 5A.

Then I tried to determine the number of valence electrons in nickel by looking at its electron configuration - 1s22s22p63s23p64s23d8.

The outermost shell is 3.  However, there are not 16 valence electrons.  Apparently, we only count the electrons in the 3d subshell.  Why do we only count the electrons in the 3d subshell unlike arsenic, where we counted the both the 4s and 4p subshells?

Thanks
To determine the valence shell electron you must first determine whether the element is in group A or group B. To do this you must write the energy level initially if the highest belong to d or f it is group B -element, if the highest belong to s or p it is group A - element.
With group A - element, the valence electron is equal to the amount of the electron in the outer shell
With group B - element, the valence electron is the sum of the amount of the outer layer's electron and the electron of the energy level that's next to it.
Ex: 1s22s22p3 -> group A - element, the amount of valence electron = 2 + 3 = 5
1s22s22p63s23d14s2 - > group B -element, the amount of valence electron = 2 + 1 = 3
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Bioionic

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Borek

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Re: Determining Valence Electrons from Electron Configuration
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 09:04:51 PM »

1s22s22p63s23p64s23d8.

The outermost shell is 3.

No, it is 4.
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