valence electron

A valence electron is an electron that can be actively involved in chemical change. A valence electron is usually an electron in the shell with the highest value of principal quantum number (n). For example, sodium's ground state electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1; the 3s electron is the only valence electron in the atom. Germanium (Ge) has the ground state electron configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p2; the 4s and 4p electrons are the valence electrons.