Answer: A carbon atom can form a maximum of four covalent bonds.
Explanation: Carbon (C) has an atomic number of 6, and its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p2.
It has four valence electrons in its outer shell, and each valence electron can participate in a covalent bond by sharing electrons with other atoms.
Since each covalent bond involves two electrons (one from each atom), carbon can form up to four covalent bonds by sharing its four valence electrons.
Significance: Carbon’s ability to form four covalent bonds is a fundamental property that underlies the diversity and complexity of organic molecules.
This unique property of carbon allows for the formation of a vast array of organic compounds with diverse structures and functions.