# Maximum unpaired electrons in an atom

• xiphoid
In summary, the maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom is determined by the number of electrons in its outermost energy level, which is also known as the valence shell. It can be calculated using the electron configuration of the atom and there is a limit to the maximum number of unpaired electrons, which is equal to the number of orbitals in the valence shell. The presence of unpaired electrons makes an atom more reactive and this number can change through chemical reactions or exposure to external factors.
xiphoid

## Homework Statement

If there are 13 electrons in M shell and one electron in N shell, the the number of unpaired electrons in such atom will be

## Homework Equations

M- shell N- shell

## The Attempt at a Solution

The configuration should be
3s2 3p6 3d5 4s1
hence the answer should be 6

Yup, that's the configuration of Chromium.

## 1. What determines the maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom?

The maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom is determined by the number of electrons in its outermost energy level, also known as the valence shell. This is because the valence electrons are the ones that are most easily lost, gained, or shared in chemical reactions.

## 2. How do you calculate the maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom?

The maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom can be calculated using the electron configuration of the atom. Count the number of electrons in the outermost energy level and subtract that number from the total number of electrons in the atom. The remaining number is the maximum number of unpaired electrons.

## 3. Is there a limit to the maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom?

Yes, there is a limit to the maximum number of unpaired electrons in an atom. This limit is determined by the number of orbitals in the outermost energy level. Each orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons, so the maximum number of unpaired electrons is equal to the number of orbitals in the valence shell.

## 4. How does the maximum number of unpaired electrons affect an atom's reactivity?

The presence of unpaired electrons in an atom's valence shell makes it more reactive. This is because unpaired electrons are more likely to participate in chemical reactions, either by gaining, losing, or sharing electrons with other atoms to form chemical bonds. Atoms with a higher number of unpaired electrons are typically more reactive than those with fewer unpaired electrons.

## 5. Can the maximum number of unpaired electrons change for an atom?

Yes, the maximum number of unpaired electrons can change for an atom. This can happen through various processes such as gaining or losing electrons through chemical reactions, or by being exposed to external factors such as high energy radiation. These changes in the number of unpaired electrons can also affect an atom's reactivity and properties.

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