Protactinium, atomic structure

Protactinium, atomic structure

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


Caption: Protactinium (Pa). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of protactinium-231 (atomic number: 91), the most stable isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 91 protons (red) and 140 neutrons (blue). 91 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Protactinium is an actinide in period 7, and the f-block of the periodic table. Actinides are soft radioactive metals. Protactinium-231, rare in nature and usually extracted from spent nuclear fuel, has a half-life of 32,760 years. Its unstable nucleus decays by emitting an alpha particle to form actinium-227.

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