Aluminium, atomic structure

Aluminium, atomic structure

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Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aluminium (Al). Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, chemical data, and valence orbitals of an atom of aluminium-27 (atomic number: 13), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 13 protons (red) and 14 neutrons (orange). 13 electrons (white) occupy available electron shells (rings). The stability of an element's outer (valence) electrons determines its chemical and physical properties. Aluminium is a post-transition metal in group 13, period 3, and the p-block of the periodic table. A lightweight metal, used in aircraft and a third as dense as steel, it has a melting point of 660 degrees Celsius.

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