Francium

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Francium ( /ˈfrænsiəm/ FRAN-see-əm; formerly known as eka-caesium and actinium K[note 1]) is a chemical element that has the symbol Fr and atomic number 87. It has one of the lowest electronegativities of all known elements, and is the second rarest naturally occurring element (after astatine). Francium is a highly radioactive metal that decays into astatine, radium, and radon. As an alkali metal, it has one valence electron.

Francium was discovered by Marguerite Perey in France (from which the element takes its name) in 1939. It was the last element discovered in nature, rather than by synthesis.[note 2] Outside the laboratory, francium is extremely rare, with trace amounts found in uranium and thorium ores, where the isotope francium-223 continually forms and decays. As little as 20–30 g (one ounce) exists at any given time throughout the Earth's crust; the other isotopes are entirely synthetic. The largest amount produced in the laboratory was a cluster of more than 300,000 atoms.[1]

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