How are electrons arranged in an atom? - ProProfs Discuss

# How are electrons arranged in an atom?

Asked by I. Muller, Last updated: Oct 22, 2020

#### O. Bickis

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O. Bickis, Corporate employee, MBA, Stockton

Electrons are usually arranged in different shells that are going around the nucleus of the atom. There are different orbits that are available, depending on the capacity of that particular atom. Those that are located close to the nucleus are the electrons that have low energy levels. The higher the amount of energy that that electron has, the farther away it will be placed from the nucleus.

The nucleus will usually contain protons and electrons that will ensure that the atom will stay balanced. The neutrons can be very helpful in preventing the protons from repelling each other, which may cause some problems with the atom in general.

#### G. Roland

G. Roland, Professor, Austin

Some people are confused with how electrons are arranged in an atom. Think about an atom as having the same numbers of protons and electrons. The nucleus will be surrounded by the electrons with the weakest electrons usually situated near the nucleus. There are different electron shells that are available and the other electron shells will have the ability to carry more electrons.

The first shell, the one nearest the nucleus, will have two electrons. The number of electrons that can be carried by the electron shells will go higher as the shells go towards the outer portion of the atom. The arrangement of the electrons will provide you a distinct idea regarding what element you are dealing with. The arrangement will be different from one element to another.

#### Chelsey Erwin

Chelsey Erwin

There is the same number of electrons as protons in an atom. Inside the atom, electrons are arranged around the nucleus. The nucleus is surrounded by electron levels or shells. This is where the electrons ‘live’. Each electron shell can hold a certain amount of energy. This amount is 2 times the amount of energy an electron has squared; displayed as 2n^2 (n is the energy of the electron).

For the first 20elements, the electron shells can hold the same amount of electrons; 2 in the first electron shell, and a maximum of 8 electrons in the second and third electron shell. Electron shells closest to the nucleus have the lowest energy, and electron shells farthest from the nucleus, on the outside, have the highest energy. The arrangement of electrons in an atom determines it’s chemical properties and thus tells you what element it is. For example, fluorine has 9 electrons; 2 in the first electron shell, and 7 in the second electron shell.