The "highest occupied energy level" means the energy level in which the valence electrons reside. Elements follow the octet rule, meaning they want to attain the stable arrangement of having eight electrons in their highest occupied energy level. Some atoms want to give up electrons, and others want to gain electrons to become more stable.
Valence electrons exist only in the s and p orbitals of the highest energy level. The Aufbau principle states that electrons must fill the lowest energy levels first before moving to the next energy level. Each energy level has a specific number of orbitals; only two electrons spinning in opposite directions can fill each orbital. Electrons exist at different distances from the nucleus of the atom. Those electrons occupying orbitals closer to the nucleus have lower energy than those orbiting farther away.
The most stable elements on the periodic table, the noble gases, have eight electrons in their highest occupied energy level; the noble gases do not readily form compounds with other elements. The electrons in the highest occupied energy level have a lot to do with the reactivity of the element. Elements such as the metals with few electrons in their highest energy levels want to donate them to other elements. Elements like the nonmetals have almost a full complement of eight electrons in their outermost energy levels, so they want to gain electrons from elements.Learn More
The highest occupied level is the outermost level of the atom that contains electrons. Atoms have several levels much like a house, and each level of the atom fills with electrons level by level starting at the lowest. The first level of the atom fills up first. Then, the second level fills up and so forth. Not every atom has all of its levels occupied by electrons. For some atoms, the highest occupied level is the first level, while for others it is the third level.Full Answer >
The subscripts in a chemical equation is the number on the lower right-hand side of a chemical element that tells a chemist how many atoms of that element are present in the equation. On the other hand, superscripts in a chemical equation are the notations for a positive or negative ionic charge.Full Answer >
Franciscan University of Steubenville defines a conversion factor as a ratio written in fraction form that can express the same quantity or value in two different units. Conversion factors are used to change units while maintaining the original measurements. When using conversion factors, Education Portal states that the original measurement is multiplied using the conversion factor to get the same measurement, but it is expressed in new units.Full Answer >
In chemistry, the criss-cross method is a way to write the formulas of ionic compounds. The criss-cross method makes it easier to determine the subscripts for each element in an ionic compound.Full Answer >