Polonium, atomic structure

Polonium, 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: Polonium (Po). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of polonium-210 (atomic number: 84), a natural isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 84 protons (red) and 126 neutrons (blue). 84 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Polonium is a radioactive metalloid in group 16, period 6, and the p-block of the periodic table. Discovered in 1898 by the Curies, it was named after Poland. Polonium-210, which forms in uranium ores, has a half-life of 138 days, emitting an alpha particle from its unstable nucleus to form lead-206.

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