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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 berkelium-247 (atomic number: 97), the most stable isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 97 protons (blue) and 150 neutrons (red). Berkelium, named for where it was first synthesised in 1949, is an actinide and transuranic element in period 7, and the f-block of the periodic table. Actinides are soft radioactive metals. Berkelium-247 has a half-life of 1380 years, its nucleus emitting an alpha particle to form americium-243.
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