Praseodymium is a soft, silvery, malleable and ductile metal, valued for its magnetic, electrical, chemical, and optical properties. Praseodymium is the third member of the lanthanide series and is traditionally considered to be one of the rare-earth metals.
Protons and Neutrons in Praseodymium
Praseodymium is a chemical element with atomic number 59 which means there are 59 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 Praseodymium are 141.
Main Isotopes of Praseodymium
Praseodymium occur only in one natural isotope – 141Pr.
Praseodymium-141 is composed of 59 protons, 82 neutrons, and 59 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 Praseodymium is 59. 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 Praseodymium is [Xe] 4f3 6s2.
Possible oxidation states are +3.
Most Common Application of Praseodymium
Praseodymium is used in a variety of alloys. The high-strength alloy it forms with magnesium is used in aircraft engines. Mischmetal is an alloy containing about 5% praseodymium and is used to make flints for cigarette lighters. In combination with neodymium, another rare-earth element, praseodymium is used to create high-power magnets notable for their strength and durability.
|Number of protons||59|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||141|
|Number of electrons||59|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f3 6s2|
Properties of other elements