How many electrons does each element has in its outermost electron-shell?

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How many electrons does each of the following elements have in its outermost electron-shell?

(a) Magnesium

(b) Molybdenum

(c) Selenium

Solve

The elements of the periodic table are organized into groups that are based on the number of outer-shell electrons each element has. For example, an element in group 1A has one outer-shell electron, and an element in group 5A has five outer-shell electrons. To find the number of outer-shell electrons for a given element, use the periodic table to locate its group.

(a) Magnesium (group 2A) has two electrons in its outermost shell.
(b) Molybdenum is a transition metal, which has two electrons in the 4s subshell, plus four electrons in its 3d subshell.
(c) Selenium (group 6A) has six electrons in its outermost shell.

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