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The Element Francium

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87

Fr

Francium

223

Atomic Number: 87

Atomic Weight: 223

Melting Point: 300 K (27°C or 81°F)

Boiling Point: Unknown

Density: Unknown

Phase at Room Temperature: Solid

Element Classification: Metal

Period Number: 7    Group Number: 1    Group Name: Alkali Metal

Radioactive

What's in a name? Named for the country of France.

Say what? Francium is pronounced as FRAN-see-em.

History and Uses:

Francium was discovered by Marguerite Catherine Perey, a French chemist, in 1939 while analyzing actinium's decay sequence. Although considered a natural element, scientists estimate that there is no more than one ounce of francium in the earth's crust at one time. Since there is so little naturally occurring francium on earth, scientists must produce francium in order to study it. Francium can be produced by bombarding thorium with protons or by bombarding radium with neutrons.

Francium's most stable isotope, francium-223, has a half-life of about 22 minutes. It decays into radium-223 through beta decay or into astatine-219 through alpha decay.

Due to the small amounts produced and its short half-life, there are currently no uses for francium outside of basic scientific research.

Estimated Crustal Abundance: Not Applicable

Estimated Oceanic Abundance: Not Applicable

Number of Stable Isotopes: 0   (View all isotope data)

Ionization Energy: 3.9 eV

Oxidation States: +1

Electron Shell Configuration:

1s2

2s2   2p6

3s2   3p6   3d10

4s2   4p6   4d10   4f14

5s2   5p6   5d10

6s2   6p6

7s1