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Valence Electrons

Electrons in the outer energy level of an atom that can participate in interactions with other atoms.

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Bond, Chemical Bond

Bond, Chemical Bond


Credit: United States Navy
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_110620-N-AC575-035_Students_in_the_U.S._Naval_Academy_annual_Summer_Seminar_mix_chemical_compounds_during_a_workshop_at_Michelson_Hall.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

If the term chemical compound makes you think of science lab, think again. Just about all the matter around you consists of chemical compounds. In fact, you too consist of chemical compounds.

Amazing but True!

  • How many chemical compounds are there? As of 2007, there were 31 million known chemical compounds!
  • How can there be so many chemical compounds when there are fewer than 100 naturally occurring elements? Chemical bonds are the answer. Elements can combine in myriad ways by bonding together to form unique chemical compounds.
  • Chemical bonds may be covalent or ionic. Watch this video (a chemical bond music video) for an entertaining way to learn more about covalent and ionic bonds. 


  • If you’re a dog lover, you will definitely want to watch this video to learn more about the two types of bonds.


Can You Apply It?

Review chemical bonds at the link below. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. What determines which elements combine and how they bond together?
  2. Potassium is a metal with one valence electron. With which other elements does it form bonds?
    1. elements with one electron
    2. elements with two electrons
    3. elements with five electrons
    4. elements with seven electrons
  3. Which type of bonds does potassium form? Which type of bond is most common?
  4. Describe a covalent bond and how it forms. Give an example of a compound with covalent bonds.
  5. Compare and contrast polar and nonpolar covalent bonds.
  6. What is an ionic bond? How does it form? Give an example of a compound with ionic bonds.

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