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Tantalum, atomic structure

Tantalum, atomic structure

C013/1629

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tantalum (Ta). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of tantalum-181 (atomic number: 73), the most common isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 73 protons (red) and 108 neutrons (blue). Tantalum is a transition metal in group 5, period 6, and the d-block of the periodic table. It has a melting point of 3017 degrees Celsius. The transition metal trends are due to electrons filling an inner d-subshell (here, within the 5th ring), shielding the outer electrons from the increasing nuclear charge.

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