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  • The effective nuclear charge is the net positive charge experienced by an electron in a multi-electron atom. The term "effective" is used because the shielding effect of negatively charged electrons prevents higher orbital electrons from experiencing the full nuclear charge by the repelling effect of inner-layer electrons. The effective nuclear charge experienced by the outer shell electron is also called the core charge. It is possible to determine the strength of the nuclear charge by the oxidation number of the atom.