Zinc, atomic structure

Zinc, atomic structure

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

Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Zinc (Zn). Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, chemical data, and valence orbitals of an atom of zinc-65 (atomic number: 30), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 30 protons (red) and 35 neutrons (orange). 30 electrons (white) successively occupy available electron shells (rings). Zinc is a transition metal in group 12, period 4, and the d-block of the periodic table. It has a melting point of 419 degrees Celsius, a much lower melting point than most of the other transition metals, since the d-subshell shielding effect on outer (valence) electrons ends. Zinc, present in many biological enzymes, is an essential mineral in the diet.

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