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CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of plutonium-239 (atomic number: 94), an isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 94 protons (blue) and 145 neutrons (yellow). Plutonium 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 plutonium-244 (half-life: 80 million years) emits an alpha particle to form uranium-240. Other plutonium isotopes are used in nuclear fuels and weapons.
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