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# Basics of Valency

In this page we are going to discuss about structure of the atom cobcept . 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; 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.

## Significance of Valence Electrons

• Valence electrons of an atom are responsible for chemical reactions as they take part in them.
• Elements having same number of valence electrons in their atoms possess similar chemical properties. All alkali metals have one valence electron in their atom. Thus, their chemical properties are similar.

Alkali Metal .  Atomic Number  Electronic configuration  Number of Valence Electrons
Lithium (Li)  3  2,1  1
Sodium (Na)  11  2,8,1  1
Potassium (K)  19  2,8,8,1  1

• The number of the valence shell in an atom determines its position in the Periodic Table i.e. the period to which the element belongs.
• Elements having 1, 2 or 3 electrons in the valence shell are metals. Exception is H and He. Elements having 4 to 7 electrons in their valence shell are non-metals.

### Examples :

Ex 1 : The electronic configurations of some of the elements are detailed below. How many valence and core electrons do the

following

have?(a) Al : 2, 8, 3(b) Mg: 2, 8, 2(c) Cl : 2, 8, 7(d) Ca : 2, 8, 8, 2

Solution : (a) Valence electrons = 3; core electrons = 10(b) Valence electrons = 2; core electrons = 10(c) Valence electrons =

7; core electrons = 10(d) Valence electrons = 2; core electrons = 18

Ex 2 : Classify the following elements as metals or non-metals based on valence electrons:

Solution :A - 2, 8, 2 - It is a metal as it has 2 valence electronsB - 2, 8, 6 - It is a non-metal as it has 6 valence electronsC - 2,

6 - It is a non-metal as it has 6 valence electrons

Ex 3: Determine the period to which sodium (Na - 11) belongs.

Solution: Na - 11; 2, 8, 1Number of the valence shell - 3Therefore, sodium is placed in period 3 of the periodic table.

Ex 4: Determine the period to which calcium (Ca - 20) belongs.

Solution : Ca - 20; 2, 8, 8, 2Number of the valence shell - 4Therefore, sodium belongs to period 4 of the periodic table.

## formation. For example, carbon atom with an atomic number 6 has 4 valence electrons.K LC6 2 4Carbon atom is capable of forming 4 bonds. Hence its valency is four.

### Calculation of Valency

The number of valence electrons is the valency of the element.

The valency of an element can also be calculated by finding the number of electrons required to complete octet (8)i.e., 8 - Number of valence electrons = Valency.

Examples :

Ex 1: Determine the valency of oxygen (O - 8).

Solution :

0 - 8 : 2, 6Valency = 8 - Number of valence electrons= 8 - 6= 2

Ex 2 :Calculate number of valence electrons, the valency and valence shell of an atom whose atomic number is 17.

Solution :

Electron configuration:

 K L M 2 8 7

Number of valence electrons = 7Valency = 8 - 7 = 1Valence shell = M

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