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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 europium-152 (atomic number: 63), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 63 protons (blue) and 89 neutrons (red). Europium is a lanthanide in period 6, and the f-block of the periodic table. It melts at 826 degrees Celsius. The trend across the lanthanide series arises from the failure of electrons filling an inner f-subshell (here, within the 4th ring) to shield outer (valence) electrons from increasing nuclear charge.
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