Fluorine, a highly reactive halogen element of group 17 in the periodic table, is known for its electronegativity and ability to form strong covalent bonds with other elements. In order to understand how fluorine bonds with other atoms, it is imperative to know the number of valence electrons it possesses.
Valence electrons are the electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom, which are responsible for the chemical properties and behavior of an element. The valence electrons determine the reactivity and ability of an element to form chemical bonds with other atoms. In the case of fluorine, the number of valence electrons is relatively easy to determine as it belongs to the second row or period of the periodic table and is positioned in group 17.
The electronic configuration of fluorine is 1s2 2s2 2p5, which means that it has two electrons in its first energy level, two electrons in the second energy level, and five electrons in the second p-orbital. It has seven electrons in its outermost energy level or valence shell, which makes it only one electron away from attaining a stable configuration of eight electrons. This means that fluorine requires only one more electron to complete its octet and become a stable ion.
The high electronegativity of fluorine, which is the measure of its ability to attract electrons towards itself, is due to the presence of seven valence electrons. With seven electrons already present in the valence shell, fluorine has a strong tendency to attract an additional electron to attain a stable configuration of eight valence electrons, which is known as the octet rule.
As a result of its high electronegativity and tendency to gain an electron to form an anion, fluorine forms strong covalent bonds with other elements, particularly those that can donate an electron to complete its octet. Fluorine is known to form compounds with almost all elements, except for the noble gases. The most common compound it forms is the fluoride ion (F-) by accepting an electron from another element.
In conclusion, fluorine has seven valence electrons due to its electronic configuration of 1s2 2s2 2p5. The high electronegativity of fluorine is attributed to the presence of seven valence electrons which make it highly reactive and capable of forming strong covalent bonds with other elements. Fluorine is one electron away from attaining a stable octet configuration, which makes it a strong electron acceptor and helps it form compounds with almost all elements except for noble gases. Understanding the number of valence electrons in fluorine is crucial for predicting its chemical behavior and its ability to form bonds with other elements.