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# How many valence electrons does $S$ have?

Last updated date: 14th Jun 2024
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Hint:. The answer to this question is dependent on the general concept that deals with the calculation of valence electrons which is obtained by counting the total number of atoms present in the outermost orbit of the element.

Complete step by step answer:
- The concepts of the atomic structure, nucleus and its orbits in which the electrons revolve are familiar to us. We have also studied the calculation of atomic mass of an atom based on the total number of protons and neutrons present in the nucleus of an atom.
Now let us focus on the calculation of valence electrons in an atom.
- Valence electrons are those electrons which are present in the outermost orbit of the atom.
- These valence electrons are capable of forming a chemical bond only if the outer shell remains unclosed, that is if it is not closed.
- Now, based on these above facts, for phosphorus atom, to know the outermost electrons, let us write the electronic configuration of the given atom first that is,
Atomic number of $S$ that is sulphur is 16 and its electronic configuration is $1{{s}^{2}}2{{s}^{2}}2{{p}^{6}}3{{s}^{2}}3{{p}^{4}}$ and this configuration can also be written as, $[Ne]3{{s}^{2}}3{{p}^{4}}$
- Now, here since the outermost orbit is numbered 3, the total valence electrons present is the total electrons is 3s and 3p shell that is $2 + 4 = 6$ valence electrons.
Therefore, the correct answer is the total number of valence electrons of $S$ is 6

Note: Note that valence electrons and valency are two different terms where valence electrons are the electrons present in the outermost orbit of the atom and valency is the number of electrons that are shared, lost or gained by an atom during the chemical reaction.