Lanthanum, atomic structure

Lanthanum, 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: Lanthanum (La). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of lanthanum-139 (atomic number: 57), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 57 protons (red) and 82 neutrons (blue). 57 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Lanthanum is a lanthanide in period 6, and the f-block of the periodic table. It melts at 920 degrees Celsius. The trend across the lanthanide series arises from the failure of electrons filling an inner f-subshell (here, within the 4th ring) to shield outer electrons from increasing nuclear charge.

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