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How can I find valence electrons of transition metals?

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Valence electrons are the sum total of all the electrons in the highest energy level (principal quantum number n). Most transition metals have an electron configuration that is
$$ ns^2 (n-1) d $$, so those $$ ns^2 $$ electrons are the valence electrons.

For example. How many valence electrons are there in Fe?

Solution: 2 valence electrons.

Reason: The electron configuration of Fe is $$ 1 s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^5 $$. The two 4s electrons are in the highest principal quantum number, n = 4, so they are the valence electrons.

Copper and chromium have one valence electron (they are exceptions), because they have one 4s electron. Chromium has an electron configuration of [Ars] because having a half filled ^3d subshell is more stable, so it has one valence electron. Copper has one valence electron (the 4s electron) because it has electron configuration of $$ [ Ar]4s^13d^5 $$having filled and a half fille 4s subshell is more stable than $$ [Ar]4s^2 3d^9 $$

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