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Meaning of closed shell

closed' shell'

Pronunciation: [key]
— Physics. Physics.
  1. (in atomic structure) a shell that contains the maximum number of electrons permitted by the exclusion principle.
  2. (in nuclear structure) a shell that contains the maximum number of nucleons permitted by the exclusion principle.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.