An electron shell is the outside component of one atom about the atomic nucleus. The is a team of atomic orbitals with the very same value the the major quantum number (n). Electron shells have one or much more electron subshells, or sublevels. The name for electron shells originates from the Bohr model, in which groups of electrons were thought to go approximately the nucleus at certain distances, so that their orbits developed "shells".

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What an ext could we desire to know about the framework of one atom? We understand that atoms contain positively and also negatively fee particles, and that the number of these fees in each atom is various for each element. We likewise know that the optimistic charges are concentrated in a small nucleus, and that the electrons move around the cell nucleus in a space that is much, much larger than the nucleus.

However, several of the most crucial questions we asked in the vault Concept breakthrough Study room still unanswered. Remember the we experienced that carbon and also nitrogen have very comparable atomic masses. Now we can add that these elements have very similar atomic numbers, so their atoms have comparable numbers the protons and also electrons. Yet carbon and nitrogen are, in most sdrta.netical and also physical ways, really different. Similarly, some elements like sodium and potassium have very different atomic numbers however have quite comparable sdrta.netical and physical properties. It appears that comparing the nature of two various atoms is not very easy come understand just from to compare the numbers of protons and also electrons the atoms contain.

To continue to understand the answers to these questions, we require even an ext detail about the framework of each type of atom. Expertise of the electron configuration of different atoms is advantageous in understanding the structure of the periodic table of elements. The principle is likewise useful for describing the sdrta.netistry bonds that host atoms together.


An electron shell may be assumed of together an orbit followed by electrons roughly an atom nucleus. Due to the fact that each shell have the right to contain just a fixed number of electrons, each covering is linked with a details range that electron energy, and thus every shell need to fill fully before electrons deserve to be included to an outer shell. The electrons in the outermost shell determine the sdrta.netistry properties that the atom (see Valence shell). For an explanation that why electrons exist in these shells watch electron configuration.

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Figure (PageIndex1): A covering Diagram the lithium (left) and also Sodium (right)

The electron shells are labeled K, L, M, N, O, P, and Q; or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and also 7; going from innermost covering outwards. Electrons in external shells have greater average energy and travel farther indigenous the nucleus than those in inner shells. This renders them much more important in determining how the atom reaction sdrta.netically and also behaves together a conductor, since the traction of the atom"s cell nucleus upon castle is weaker and more easily broken. In this way, a offered element"s reactivity is highly dependent upon its electronic configuration.