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What is valency of carban - Scientific Explorer My First Chemistry Kit

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The valency (the number of electrons in the valence shell) of the element carbon is 4.

With most periodic tables of the elements, you can deduce the valency of all of the representative elements [the most common ones in the first 3 rows of the periodic table, and in the first through 8th columns (or groups or families) of the periodic table].

You need only look at the top of each group for the number-letter code (for example, "4A" appears above the group in which carbon resides.

A handy thing about the periodic table is that elements in the same group or family have the same valency. For example, silicon (Si) which is below carbon in the same family as carbon, also has a valency of 4. Another example is that all of the elements in the 1A column (the alkali metals) have the same valency of 1.

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Posted on Jan 10, 2011

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*The single electrons are more reactive than the electron pair, and will readily form bonds with other atoms, such as H. This allows you to predict that N and H atoms will combine to form NH3.

How do you know there are 5 valence electrons? For the answer, refer to the following partial image of the Periodic Table of the Elements I drew using Word and SnagIT software:
dubblea.gif
Notice the number-letter labels above each column ("group") of elements, for example "5A." The letter A indicates the groups of "representative" elements, the most common elements studied in general chemistry courses. The numbers before the "A" represents the number of valence electrons surrounding each element's atoms. For example, hydrogen has one valence electron, nitrogen has 5 valence electrons, and oxygen has 6 valence electrons.

Using the rules described above for drawing electron-dot structures, how many single dots and double dots should be drawn around H? Around O? Can you predict the bonding power of each of these atoms? What molecular compounds do you predict would be formed from the reaction of H and H? What molecular compound do you predict would form between combining H atoms and O?

Hints:
Reactions tend to occur that cause the single electrons (dots) to pair up. This occurs because paired electrons are much more stable than single electrons. A strong driving force for a reaction is the going from a less stable state to a more stable state. Hydrogen atoms from H2 molecules (diatomic molecules). H and O atoms combine to form dihydrogen oxide, also known as water!

Summary:
  • A very simple set of rules allows you to predict the electron dot structures of the representative elements.
  • The electron dot structures are very useful, because they can allow you to predict the bonding power of each representative element.
  • They are also useful in guiding your prediction of the compositions of molecules that can form during reactions between their atoms (that is, how many of each element in the molecule).
  • In more advanced topics you will also be able to use electron-dot structures to predict the shapes (or geometry) of molecules, including bond angles!
  • So, learning the skill of drawing electron-dot structures is very important to mastering chemistry!

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