Chapter 4: Structure of the Atom

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Structure of Atom


Define valency by taking examples of silicon and oxygen.


The octet rule refers to the tendency of atoms to prefer to have eight electrons in the valence shell. The atoms which have fewer electrons than eight electrons react with other atoms to achieve the stable octet.

The electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom are known as the valence electrons. The combining capacity of the atoms or their tendency to react and form molecules with atoms of the same or different elements is known as the valency of the atom.

For example, the atomic number of silicon is 14. The electronic configuration of silicon is (2, 8, 4). It contains four outermost electrons and needs four electrons to complete its octet. So, the valency of silicon is 4.

Similarly, the atomic number of oxygen is 8. The electronic configuration of oxygen is (2, 6). It contains six outermost electrons and needs two electrons to complete its octet. So, the valency of oxygen is 2.

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