Argon, atomic structure

Argon, atomic structure

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: atomic structure and data for the elements


Caption: Argon (Ar). Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, chemical data, and valence orbitals of an atom of argon-40 (atomic number: 18), the most common terrestrial isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 18 protons (red) and 22 neutrons (orange). 18 electrons (white) occupy shells (rings); eight fill the outer (third) electron shell in what is a very stable configuration. The stability of an element's outer (valence) electrons determines its chemical and physical properties. Argon is a noble gas in group 18, period 3, and the p-block of the periodic table. An inert gas formed from the decay of potassium-40, it is used in fluorescent lighting and lasers.

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