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CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, and valence (outer electron) orbitals of an atom of fermium-257 (atomic number: 100), this element's most stable isotope. The nucleus consists of 100 protons (blue) and 157 neutrons (red). Fermium, named after Enrico Fermi and first synthesised in 1952, is an actinide and transuranic element in period 7, and the f-block of the periodic table. Actinides are soft radioactive metals. The nucleus of fermium-257 (half-life: 100 days) emits an alpha particle to form californium-253.
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