1 Epoch = 32 Slots Represents the number of 32 slots and takes approximately 6.4 minutes.
pochs play an important role when it comes to the validator queue and finality.
32 Slots = 1 Epoch A time period of 12 seconds in which a randomly chosen validator has time to propose a block. Each slot may or may not have a block in it. The total number of validators is split up in committees and one or more individual committees are responsible to attest to each slot. One validator from the committee will be chosen to be the aggregator, while the other 127 validators are attesting. After each Epoch, the validators are mixed and merged to new committees. There is a minimum of 128 validators per committee.
Exit queue and activation queue
As anyone who has already gone through the process of activating a validator knows, this process is not automatic, especially if there are a lot of other users trying to join at the same time. This is because the consensus layer uses an activation queue to limit how quickly new validator accounts can join the network.
Similarly, there is also an exit queue, which limits how quickly validators can leave the network. This is for security reasons. Given each validator is limited to a max effective balance of 32 ETH, this prevents large portions of the ETH from potentially being used in an attack and then quickly exiting from the network all at once.
The number of validators that can be activated or exited in a given epoch (6.4 minutes) is determined by how many active validators are currently on the network.
Four (4) validator exits are allowed per epoch, plus one (1) more for every 65,536 total active validators over 327,680. As of April 2023 this limit is eight (8), and will increase to nine (9) if/when the active validator count reaches 655,360.