Zirconium, atomic structure

Zirconium, 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: Zirconium (Zr). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of zirconium-90 (atomic number: 40), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 40 protons (red) and 50 neutrons (blue). 40 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Zirconium is a transition metal in group 4, period 5, and the d-block of the periodic table. It has a melting point of 1855 degrees Celsius. The trends across the transition metals are due to electrons filling an inner d-subshell (here, within the 4th ring), shielding the outer electrons from the increasing nuclear charge.

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