The Role of Electrons

The Basics

What are Atoms?

Atoms are a fundamental piece of matter that make up everything. Atoms are electrically neutral because the number of electrons are equal to the number of protons.

What are Ions?

An Ion is an electrically charged atom.

What is an electron?

An electron is a subatomic particle that contains a negative charge.

The not-so Basics

What is a Valence Electron?

Valence electrons are the outermost electrons of an atom. Valence electrons determine reactivity and how the other electrons bond. It is the atoms goal to get 8 valence electrons.

What are electron shells?

An electron shell may be crudely thought of as an orbit followed by electrons around an atom nucleus. Because each shell can contain only a fixed number of electrons, each shell is associated with a particular range of electron energy, and so each must fill completely before electrons can be added to an outer shell.

What is the periodic table?

The periodic table is a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements. The rows of the table are called periods, and the columns are called groups. The periodic table was created in 1869 by Russian Chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. The elements are presented in order of increasing atomic numbers (number of protons in the element)