Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

Stable shells?

everyone knows that in chemical bonding, atoms try to get 8 electrons in their outer shell because this makes it "stable"

but what does that actually mean? like what does it mean by stable? eg. to be neutral means to have no charge or have equal amount of postive and negative charge; to be stable means?

and why is it exactly 8 electrons? not 9 or 10 or 11 etc..

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To understand what is a stable electron shell, first you have to understand what are atomic orbitals, electron shells and electron levels <-- takes about a chapter in a chemistry book and a bit of thinking/explaining.

    Simply: each kind of atom has a particular number of protons in its nucleus and the same number of electrons around it.

    Hydrogen has one proton and one electron, thus only one orbital (a space that an electron occupies) and one shell (a main energy level). The shell has only one sublevel. This simple shell has two spaces for electrons (orbitals). One is already taken, other is free.

    The atoms want their outer shell to be full (stable) so they share electrons or obtain them by force... <-- I'm serious

    For hydrogen the stable number is two. For others outer shell has more electron places (orbitals) -- like eight.

    Anyway look at this link

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm not sure exactly. at least it's even, I hate odd numbers in real life things

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