Concept

Valence (chemistry)

Summary
In chemistry, the valence (US spelling) or valency (British spelling) of an atom is a measure of its combining capacity with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules. Different sources specify different definitions, but valence is generally understood to be the number of chemical bonds that each atom of a given element typically forms; for a specified compound the valence of an atom is the number of bonds formed by that atom. Double bonds are considered to be two bonds, and triple bonds to be three. In most compounds, the valence of hydrogen is 1, of oxygen is 2, of nitrogen is 3, and of carbon is 4. Valence is not to be confused with the related concepts of the coordination number, the oxidation state, or the number of valence electrons for a given atom. Description The valence is the combining capacity of an atom of a given element, determined by the number of hydrogen atoms that it combines with. In methane, carbon has a valence of 4; in ammonia, nitroge
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