The Actinide series contains elements with atomic numbers 89 to 103 and is the sixth group in the periodic table. The series is the row below the Lanthanide series, which is located underneath the main body of the periodic table. Both the Lanthanide and Actinide series are referred to as Rare Earth Metals and have a high diversity in oxidation numbers and all are radioactive. The most famous actinide is uranium, which is used as nuclear fuel when its converted into plutonium via nuclear reactions.
- General Properties and Reactions of The Actinides
- The Actinide series contains elements with atomic numbers 89 to 103 and is the third group in the periodic table. The series is the row below the Lanthanide series, which is located underneath the main body of the periodic table. Lanthanide and Actinide Series are both referred to as Rare Earth Metals. These elements all have a high diversity in oxidation numbers and all are radioactive.
- Chemistry of Californium
- The fifth element in succession to emerge from the Berkeley, California cyclotron was element 98, californium (named after the State of origin).
- Chemistry of Nobelium
- Discovered by Ghiorso, Sikkeland, Walton and Seaborg (see element 106) and named for Alfred Nobel, element 102 was originally named by a Swedish group working at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockholm. Details of their work, however, did not yield the expected results and the credit eventually shifted to the American team which decided to retain the original given name. The most stable isotope is No-259 with a half-life of just about 1 minute.
- Chemistry of Uranium
- Most of the naturally occurring uranium is the isotope U-238. This form of uranium is not fissionable, i.e., it cannot be used in atomic weapons or power plants. A much smaller percentage of naturally occurring uranium is the isotope U-235, which is fissionable. The process of "enriching" uranium to increase the proportion of U-235 in a sample is expensive and tedious but necessary to produce fuel that is usable in power plants and material for weapons.