Electron Stability When Gaining Electrons

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Electron stability when gaining electrons unfortunately does not have a clear cut answer. Find out about electron stability when gaining electrons with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins, and this is electron stability when gaining electrons. Okay, so, just like most things in chemistry and life, there is no clear cut answer. So I can't just say that atoms are more stable with the electrons or less stable, it really depends. Let's check out a couple of examples to see what I mean. So on one hand we have fluorine, whose atomic number is nine. This means that it's going to have nine protons and when it's neutral, nine electrons. So if we draw the electron shells of fluorine, the first electron shell is always filled with two electrons, and the next one has room for eight. So fluorine has nine total, which means that two got used up in the first shell, so it's gonna have seven left, or seven valence. So just like this. So, every atom wants to have a complete full valence shell, and this means getting all the way to eight, and so fluorine is only one away from this goal, and once an atom or element has a completely full valence shell, it becomes a lot more stable. So, if fluorine somehow gets that extra electron, and it has a full valence shell of eight, it will become negative, but it will be very stable. So in this case, adding an electron increases stability. Let's take another example of sodium. Now sodium's atomic number 11. So just like fluorine, the first shell's filled with two electrons, now we have the next shell that's filled with eight, so 11 minus two is nine, so we're gonna completely fill up this shell, and that means we go to the third shell because we have one left over. So right there. So remember, every element wants to have a full octet, full valence shell, and sodium is really, really far away from this goal on its third shell. So it doesn't want to get another electron. In fact, sodium wants to do the opposite, it wants to lose an electron. If if loses this electron, it will become positively charged, and it will have a complete full valance shell down here. So remember and element doesn't care if it gets a full shell by adding into its most outer shell or by subtracting to then just be down at this shell. So they're both happy. So, for fluorine, adding an electron was good. For sodium, adding an electron is bad. It would make it a lot less stable. So the answer just depends. You can find out whatever element you want to look up by going to to the periodic table, looking up the number of valence electrons, and doing the same thing. I'm Robin Higgins, and this is the electron stability with adding an electron.


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