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Plutonium, atomic structure

Plutonium, atomic structure

C013/1837

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Plutonium (Pu). Diagram of the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of plutonium-244 (atomic number: 94), the most stable isotope of this element. The nucleus consists of 94 protons (red) and 150 neutrons (blue). 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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