Hafnium, atomic structure

Hafnium, 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: Hafnium (Hf). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of hafnium-178 (atomic number: 72), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 72 protons (red) and 106 neutrons (blue). 72 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Hafnium is a transition metal in group 4, period 6, and the d-block of the periodic table. It has a melting point of 2233 degrees Celsius. The trends across the transition metals are due to electrons filling an inner d-subshell (here, within the 5th ring), shielding the outer electrons from the increasing nuclear charge.

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