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CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram of the nuclear composition, electron configuration, and valence orbitals of an atom of antimony-122 (atomic number: 51), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 51 protons (blue) and 71 neutrons (red). The stability of an element's outer (valence) electrons determines its chemical and physical properties. Antimony is a metalloid in group 15, period 5, and the p-block of the periodic table. This toxic metal has a melting point of 630 degrees Celsius. It is used in alloys, with its compounds used in fire retardants.
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