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Discovering chemistry
Discovering chemistry

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1.7 Electronic structure of an atom

In chemical reactions, atoms form bonds to other atoms or may change partners. You know electrons are on the outside of atoms, so the expectation would be that contact and connection between atoms is likely to take place through their electrons, and in particular those furthest away from the nucleus.

As a first step towards understanding bond formation, and hence how and why chemical reactions take place, you need to have a basic grasp of how electrons are arranged in atoms.

This is the topic of the next section.