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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Zinc (Zn). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of zinc-64 (atomic number: 30), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 30 protons (red) and 34 neutrons (blue). 30 electrons (green) bind to the nucleus, successively occupying available electron shells (rings). Zinc is a transition metal in group 12, period 4, and the d-block of the periodic table. It has a melting point of 419 degrees Celsius, a much lower melting point than most of the other transition metals, since the d-subshell shielding effect ends. Zinc, present in many biological enzymes, is an essential mineral in the diet.
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