valence electron


Electrons that can be actively involved in chemical change; usually electrons in the shell with the highest value of n (electrons in the "outermost" shell of an atom). For example, sodium's ground state electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1; the 3s electron is the only valence electron in the atom. Valence electrons determine the chemical properties of an atom and are the only electrons that participate in chemical bonding.

Sign in or register

For an ad-free experience and access the Visionlearning Classroom, sign in or register.