The octet rule refers to the number of electrons a given element is likely to gain or give away. Since electrons orbit in shells elements are likely to loose or gain electrons from the outer shell and the octet rule says they will tend to loose or gain them in order to have eight electrons in their valence shell, like the noble gases naturally do. This rule helps chemist predict the way elements react and bond.
The octet rule deals with the placement of electrons around the nucleus in an. In order for the outer electron shell to have eight electrons, the atoms will gain, lose, or share electrons. This rule is commonly used for bonding atoms, but it does not necessarily always apply. The structures of sodium and chloride (the two components of salt) are examplary of the octet rule.
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