Tritium, atomic structure

Tritium, atomic structure

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: simple electron configurations of the elements

Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tritium (T). Diagram showing the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of hydrogen-3 (tritium). It is an unstable (radioactive) isotope of the element hydrogen. The nucleus of tritium consists of a single proton (red) and two neutrons (blue). Like hydrogen-1, tritium has a single electron (green) bound to its nucleus, occupying the first of successive electron shells (ring). Tritium is rare in nature, being produced in the atmosphere when cosmic rays impact nitrogen atoms. It is also produced in nuclear reactors. It is used in phosphorescent strips and nuclear weapons, and as a tracer.

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