VALENCE ELECTRONS


Why is an atom just happy as hell
When it has a completely filled outer shell?

Electrons must be like a tasty snack
Which atoms can eat to fill their lack,

If they can't have a full shell with no empty spaces
They'll share with their neighbors on a part-time basis,

It's so neat that when atoms share electrons like this
The bond between them tightens like a hand to a fist,

It's so powerful and strong that with high temperature
It turns carbon from soot to a diamond so pure,

Some useful varieties of atoms, I'm told
Are silver, aluminum, copper and gold,

With fewer outermost particles and so
The ones that reside there are quite free to go,

When they pour through a wire, lines of force are created
At radio frequencies, energy is radiated,

Electro-magnetic fields at the speed of light
Help communicate with Mars or space stations in flight,

We use them every day in a myriad of ways,
No harnessed electrons would equal dark days,

No TV, no shavers, no stereophonic sound,
Electrical apparatus would never be found,

Still I worry and wonder at these particles we use
That are never at rest and constantly move,

Have we found all the chores these workhorses will do?
Will we manipulate atoms and molecules too?

Man may never reach the stars say some of the sages,
But inner space must hold all the secrets of the ages.

by D. Edgar Murray