What do the dots around a symbol in a Lewis structure represent?

1 Answer
Jul 30, 2016

The dots simply represent electrons.


A single dot represents the one electron. A dash typically represents 2 electrons, and typically represents a covalent bond, i.e. shared electron density between two positively charged atomic nuclei. Most of the time we represent the valence electrons only. The inner shell electrons are along for the ride and do not participate in bonding.