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Atoms in period 3 or higher can accommodate more than 8 electrons because they have d-orbitals in their valence shell. The octet guideline comes from the fact that full s- and p-orbitals accommodate 8 e- together (s2 and p6)
The hybridization and mixing of orbitals in period 3 or larger atoms are part of the reason why some atoms can have expanded octets. This is because orbitals in the same shell can mix together because they are similar in energy, which means they can have more orbitals available to fill during bonding.
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