Question #a63d1

1 Answer
May 19, 2017

Answer:

The maximum number of univalent atoms that may combine with an atom of the element in question.

Explanation:

So if the element is, for example, oxygen, then it combines with two univalent atoms to form a stable compound (#H_2O#). Valence is therefore 2.

If the element is sodium, it combines with one univalent atom to form a stable compound (NaCl). Valence is therefore 1.

Oxidation number is a more useful concept though, as it allows for the distinction between positive and negative, and also for elements where more than one oxidation state is possible (e.g. transition metals).