Definitions for valence electron

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word valence electron

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

va′lence elec`tron(n.)

  1. an electron of an atom, located in the outermost shell (va′lence shell`) of the atom, that can be transferred to or shared with another atom.

    Category: Chemistry

Origin of valence electron:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. valence electron(noun)

    an electron in the outer shell of an atom which can combine with other atoms to form molecules


  1. valence electron(Noun)

    any of the electrons in the outermost shell of an atom; capable of forming bonds with other atoms


  1. Valence electron

    In chemistry, a valence electron is an electron that is associated with an atom, and that can participate in the formation of a chemical bond; in a single covalent bond, both atoms in the bond contribute one valence electron in order to form a shared pair. The presence of valence electrons can determine the element's chemical properties and whether it may bond with other elements: For a main group element, a valence electron can only be in the outermost electron shell. In a transition metal, a valence electron can also be in an inner shell. An atom with a closed shell of valence electrons tends to be chemically inert. An atom with one or two valence electrons more than a closed shell is highly reactive, because the extra valence electrons are easily removed to form a positive ion. An atom with one or two valence electrons fewer than a closed shell is also highly reactive, because of a tendency either to gain the missing valence electrons, or to share valence electrons. Like an electron in an inner shell, a valence electron has the ability to absorb or release energy in the form of a photon. This gain or loss of energy can trigger an electron to move to a more outer shell or even break free from its associated atom's valence shell; this is known as atomic excitation. When an electron loses energy, then it moves to a more inner shell.


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