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RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / ANIMATE4.COM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / ANIMATE4.COM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atomic electron configuration. Animation illustrating the concept of electron configuration of an atom. The animation starts by highlighting the central structure of an atom, the nucleus. This consists of protons (red) and neutrons (blue). Surrounding the nucleus are a series of quantum energy levels that can contain electrons. These are known as electron shells. The first shell can contain two electrons. The second shell can contain eight electrons. The third can contain eighteen electrons, but is stable with eight electrons (the Octet Rule). The fourth shell can contain thirty-two electrons and also follows the Octet Rule. The outermost shall of an atom of an element is known as the valence shell. The stability of an element's outer (valence) electrons determines its chemical and physical properties.
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