Curium, atomic structure

Curium, 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: Curium (Cm). Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, chemical data, and valence (outer electron) orbitals of an atom of curium-247 (atomic number: 96), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 96 protons (red) and 151 neutrons (orange). 96 electrons (white) successively occupy available electron shells (rings). Curium, named after the Curies and first synthesised in 1944, is an actinide and transuranic element in period 7, and the f-block of the periodic table. Actinides are soft radioactive metals. Curium-247 is the most stable isotope of curium, with a half-life of 15.6 million years.

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