Does the 3rd electron shell have a capacity for 8e- or 18e-?

1 Answer
Oct 22, 2016

Answer:

The third shell in its lowest state has room for 8 electrons but including the higher energy 3d electrons it has a capacity of 18 electrons.

Explanation:

The first stable element in the VIII A group ( noble or inert gases) is Helium #1s^2 # 2 electrons in the first shell 2 electrons total
The second stable element in the VIII A group is
Neon # 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6# 8 electrons in the 2nd shell 10 #e^-# total
The third stable element in the VIII A group is Krypton
#1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6# 8 electrons in the 3rd shell 18#e^-#

In this sense the third shell can hold 8 electrons.

However in the fourth shell the 19th and 20th electrons go into the
#4s^2# not the third shell, but the next 10 electrons go into the 3d orbitals that are part of the third shell but shown on the fourth shell level.

In this sense the third shell can hold a total of 18 electrons.

So the third shell can be considered to hold 8 or 18 electrons but in total the third shell can hold 18 electrons.