See more Iron products. Iron (atomic symbol: Fe, atomic number: 26) is a Block D, Group 8, Period 4 element with an atomic weight of 55.845. The number of electrons in each of Iron's shells is 2, 8, 14, 2 and its electron configuration is [Ar] 3d6 4s2. The iron atom has a radius of 126 pm and a Van der Waals radius of 194 pm. Iron was discovered by humans before 5000 BC. In its elemental form, iron has a lustrous grayish metallic appearance. Iron is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust and the most common element by mass forming the earth as a whole. Iron is rarely found as a free element, since it tends to oxidize easily; it is usually found in minerals such as magnetite, hematite, goethite, limonite, or siderite. Though pure iron is typically soft, the addition of carbon creates the alloy known as steel, which is significantly stronger.
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