Neptunium, atomic structure

Neptunium, 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: Neptunium (Np). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of neptunium-239 (atomic number: 93), a trace isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 93 protons (red) and 146 neutrons (blue). 93 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Neptunium is an actinide and transuranic element in period 7, and the f-block of the periodic table. Actinides are soft radioactive metals. Neptunium-239 was produced by neutron bombardment of uranium in 1940. It has a half-life of 2.4 days, its unstable nucleus emits a beta particle to form plutonium-239.

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