Inert Pair

Valence electrons in an s orbital penetrate to the nucleus better than electrons in p orbitals, and as a result they′re more tightly bound to the nucleus and less able to participate in bond formation.

The inert pair effect explains why common ions of Pb are Pb4+ and Pb2+, and not just Pb4+ as we might expect from the octet rule.

See also: Orbital.

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Subjects: Chemistry Physics