Die naam vir elektronskille vind sy oorsprong uit die [[Bohr-model]], waar daar geglo is dat groepe elektrone op sekere afstande vanaf die kern wentel en sodoende "skille" vorm.
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The '''valence shell''' is the outermost shell of an [[atom]] in its uncombined state, which contains the [[electron]]s most likely to account for the nature of any [[chemical reaction|reactions]] involving the atom and of the [[chemical bond|bonding]] interactions it has with other atoms. Care must be taken to note that the outermost shell of an '''ion''' is '''not''' commonly termed valence shell. Electrons in the valence shell are referred to as [[valence electrons]]. The [[physical chemist]] [[Gilbert Newton Lewis|Gilbert Lewis]] was responsible for much of the early development of the theory of the participation of valence shell electrons in chemical bonding. [[Linus Pauling]] later generalized and extended the theory while applying insights from [[quantum mechanics]].
In a [[noble gas]], an atom tends to have 8 electrons in its outer shell (except helium, which is only able to fill its shell with 2 electrons). This serves as the model for the [[octet rule]] which is mostly applicable to main group [[Chemical element|element]]s of the second and third [[periodic table|periods]]. In terms of [[atomic orbitals]], the electrons in the valence shell are distributed 2 in the single ''s'' orbital and 2 each in the three ''p'' orbitals.