Silver is a soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. The metal is found in the Earth’s crust in the pure, free elemental form (“native silver”), as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.
Protons and Neutrons in Silver
Silver is a chemical element with atomic number 47 which means there are 47 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Silver are 107, 109.
Main Isotopes of Silver
Silver occurs in 2 natural isotopes: 107Ag and 109Ag. 107Ag is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 51%.
Silver-107 is composed of 47 protons, 60 neutrons, and 47 electrons.
Silver-109 is composed of 47 protons, 62 neutrons, and 47 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Silver is 47. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Silver is [Kr] 4d10 5s1.
Possible oxidation states are +1.
Most Common Application of Silver
Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold. Silver has many important, far-reaching technological and electronic applications. It’s used in everything from cell phones, computers and semiconductors to automobiles, water-purification systems and—because it is the best conductor of heat of all elements—spacecraft solar radiation tiles.
|Number of protons||47|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||107, 109|
|Number of electrons||47|
|Electron configuration||[Kr] 4d10 5s1|
Properties of other elements