Actinium

Actinium
Actinium block

Actinium (Ac) is a chemical element of the periodic table, located in the period 7, and has the atomic number 89. It is the first element in the actinide series. It is a soft, silvery-white metal that glows in the dark with a blue light. Its name comes from the Greek word “aktis” or “aktinos”, which means beam or ray. It is counted as one of the radioactive elements.

On periodic table

group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
period
1 1
H
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Hydrogen
2
He
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Helium
2 3
Li
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Lithium
4
Be
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Beryllium
5
B
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Boron
6
C
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Carbon
7
N
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Nitrogen
8
O
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Oxygen
9
F
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Fluorine
10
Ne
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Neon
3 11
Na
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Sodium
12
Mg
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Magnesium
13
Al
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Aluminium
14
Si
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Silicon
15
P
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Phosphorus
16
S
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Sulfur
17
Cl
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Chlorine
18
Ar
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Argon
4 19
K
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Potassium
20
Ca
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Calcium
21
Sc
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Scandium
22
Ti
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Titanium
23
V
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Vanadium
24
Cr
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Chromium
25
Mn
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Manganese
26
Fe
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Iron
27
Co
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Cobalt
28
Ni
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Nickel
29
Cu
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Copper
30
Zn
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Zinc
31
Ga
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Gallium
32
Ge
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Germanium
33
As
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Arsenic
34
Se
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Selenium
35
Br
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Bromine
36
Kr
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Krypton
5 37
Rb
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Rubidium
38
Sr
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Strontium
39
Y
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Yttrium
40
Zr
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Zirconium
41
Nb
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Niobium
42
Mo
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Molybdenum
43
Tc
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Technetium
44
Ru
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Ruthenium
45
Rh
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Rhodium
46
Pd
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Palladium
47
Ag
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Silver
48
Cd
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Cadmium
49
In
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Indium
50
Sn
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Tin
51
Sb
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Antimony
52
Te
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Tellurium
53
I
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Iodine
54
Xe
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Xenon
6 55
Cs
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Caesium
56
Ba
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Barium
72
Hf
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Hafnium
73
Ta
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Tantalum
74
W
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Tungsten
75
Re
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Rhenium
76
Os
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Osmium
77
Ir
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Iridium
78
Pt
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Platinum
79
Au
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Gold
80
Hg
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Mercury
81
Tl
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Thallium
82
Pb
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Lead
83
Bi
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Bismuth
84
Po
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Polonium
85
At
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Astatine
86
Rn
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Radon
7 87
Fr
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Francium
88
Ra
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Radium
104
Rf
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Rutherfordium
105
Db
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Dubnium
106
Sg
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Seaborgium
107
Bh
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Bohrium
108
Hs
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Hassium
109
Mt
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Meitnerium
110
Ds
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Darmstadtium
111
Rg
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Roentgenium
112
Cn
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Copernicium
113
Nh
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Nihonium
114
Fl
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Flerovium
115
Mc
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Moscovium
116
Lv
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Livermorium
117
Ts
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Tennessine
118
Og
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Oganesson
57
La
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Lanthanum
58
Ce
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Cerium
59
Pr
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Praseodymium
60
Nd
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Neodymium
61
Pm
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Promethium
62
Sm
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Samarium
63
Eu
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Europium
64
Gd
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Gadolinium
65
Tb
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Terbium
66
Dy
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Dysprosium
67
Ho
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Holmium
68
Er
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Erbium
69
Tm
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Thulium
70
Yb
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Ytterbium
71
Lu
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Lutetium
89
Ac
Actinium
90
Th
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Thorium
91
Pa
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Protactinium
92
U
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Uranium
93
Np
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Neptunium
94
Pu
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Plutonium
95
Am
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Americium
96
Cm
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Curium
97
Bk
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Berkelium
98
Cf
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Californium
99
Es
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Einsteinium
100
Fm
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Fermium
101
Md
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Mendelevium
102
No
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Nobelium
103
Lr
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Lawrencium
– f block

Actinium (Ac) is located on the periodic table in the actinide series, which is a group of elements located at the bottom of the table. Specifically, in period 7, next to radium (Ra).

Element information

Actinium Element
Actinium appearance | source: Wikipedia
Actinium Periodic Table
Actinium location on periodic table
Actinium is found in the seventh row of the periodic table, next to the radium element.
Origin of name Greek word “aktis” or “aktinos” (which means beam or ray)
Symbol Ac
Atomic number (Z) 89
Atomic mass (227)
Block f-block
Period 7
Classification Actinide
Covalent radius 215 pm
Melting point 1050 ℃, 1922 ℉, 1323 K
Boiling point 3200 ℃, 5792 ℉, 3473 K
Electron configuration [Rn] 6d1 7s2
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 9, 2
Crystal structure Face-centered cubic (fcc)
Phase at r.t Solid
Density near r.t 10 g/cm3
Natural occurrence From decay
Oxidation state +3
Electronegativity (Pauling scale) 1.1
Protons
Neutrons
Electrons
89
138
89
CAS number 7440-34-8
Discovered by André-Louis Debierne in 1899

History

André-Louis Debierne | source: Wikipedia

Actinium was first discovered in 1899 by French chemist André-Louis Debierne. He separated a new radioactive element from uranium ore called pitchblende, which he named actinium. However, the discovery was later disputed as the sample he used was found to be contaminated with another element, thorium. It was only in 1902 that actinium was rediscovered by German chemist Friedrich Otto Giesel, who independently isolated the element from pitchblende. This time, the discovery was confirmed and recognized by the scientific community. In 1913, actinium was used for the first time in medical applications, when it was used to treat cancer. It was the first radioactive element to be used for cancer treatment. Today, actinium is still used in medical research and treatment, as well as in nuclear reactors for neutron production.

Occurrence and production

Actinium is one of the rarest and most expensive naturally occurring elements on Earth. Actinium is found in very small amounts in uranium and thorium ores, but it is not commercially extracted from them. The primary source of actinium is the decay of uranium and thorium, which are abundant in the Earth’s crust. Actinium is a product of the radioactive decay chain of uranium-235 and thorium-232. Uranium-235 decays into actinium-231, which in turn decays into protactinium-231 and finally into uranium-235. Similarly, thorium-232 decays into actinium-228, which decays into thorium-228 and eventually into lead-208.

Actinium is produced by bombarding a radium-226 target with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. The radium-226 captures a neutron and undergoes beta decay to form radium-227, which then decays into actinium-227. This process is known as neutron capture. Actinium can also be produced through the neutron irradiation of natural thorium or depleted uranium targets in a nuclear reactor. The irradiated target is dissolved in acid, and the actinium is separated from other elements using a series of chemical separation techniques, such as ion exchange and solvent extraction.

Properties

Actinium is a silvery-white radioactive metal that has a melting point of 1050 ℃ and a boiling point of 3200 ℃. It is highly reactive and can ignite spontaneously in air.

Actinium is a member of the actinide series, which includes elements with atomic numbers 89 to 103. It is the first element in this series, and its properties are similar to those of other actinides.

Actinium has three naturally occurring isotopes, with atomic weights of 225, 226, and 227. The most stable isotope is actinium-227, which has a half-life of 21.77 years.

Actinium is highly radioactive, and its decay releases alpha, beta, and gamma rays. It emits more alpha particles than any other element, making it a useful source of alpha particles for scientific research.

Actinium is highly toxic, and its radioactivity makes it a serious health hazard. Inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with actinium can cause radiation poisoning, which can lead to cancer, organ damage, and death.

Applications

Actinium-225 is used in targeted alpha therapy (TAT) to treat cancer. Actinium-225 emits alpha particles that can kill cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells.

Actinium-227 has a long half-life and can be used as a power source in nuclear batteries for space probes and remote devices.

Actinium-228 is used in radiation detectors for environmental monitoring and nuclear safety.

Actinium-227 is used as a tracer in medical research to study the uptake and distribution of drugs in the body. Actinium-228 is also used in scientific research to study nuclear physics and chemistry.

Actinium-227 and actinium-228 can be used as neutron sources in nuclear reactors for scientific research and industrial applications.

Actinium can be used to create luminescent materials, such as phosphors, for use in lighting and displays.

Interesting facts

Actinium is the first discovered and named element in the group of actinides.

It is a highly radioactive element and glows blue in the dark due to its intense radioactivity.

Actinium-225 is used in targeted alpha therapy for cancer treatment.

Actinium has a very high rate of neutron capture, making it useful in neutron radiography and in neutron activation analysis to detect trace elements in materials.

Actinium-227 is used as a neutron source in oil well logging, a technique used to measure the porosity and permeability of rock formations in oil wells.

Actinium has been used in the past as a component of portable X-ray machines.

Actinium is named after the Greek word “aktis”, which means beam or ray, due to its intense radioactivity.

Related

More elements

s block
p block
d block
f block
Barium Aluminium Bohrium Actinium
Beryllium Antimony Cadmium Americium
Caesium Argon Chromium Berkelium
Calcium Arsenic Cobalt Californium
Francium Astatine Copernicium Cerium
Helium Bismuth Copper Curium
Hydrogen Boron Darmstadtium Dysprosium
Lithium Bromine Dubnium Einsteinium
Magnesium Carbon Gold Erbium
Potassium Chlorine Hafnium Europium
Radium Flerovium Hassium Fermium
Rubidium Fluorine Iridium Gadolinium
Sodium Gallium Iron Holmium
Strontium Germanium Lawrencium Lanthanum
Indium Lutetium Mendelevium
Iodine Manganese Neodymium
Krypton Meitnerium Neptunium
Lead Mercury Nobelium
Livermorium Molybdenum Plutonium
Moscovium Nickel Praseodymium
Neon Niobium Promethium
Nihonium Osmium Protactinium
Nitrogen Palladium Samarium
Oganesson Platinum Terbium
Oxygen Rhenium Thorium
Phosphorus Rhodium Thulium
Polonium Roentgenium Uranium
Radon Ruthenium Ytterbium
Selenium Rutherfordium
Silicon Scandium
Sulfur Seaborgium
Tellurium Silver
Tennessine Tantalum
Thallium Technetium
Tin Titanium
Xenon Tungsten
Vanadium
Yttrium
Zinc
Zirconium

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Learnool.com was founded by Deep Rana, who is a mechanical engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He has a good conceptual knowledge on different educational topics and he provides the same on this website. He loves to learn something new everyday and believes that the best utilization of free time is developing a new skill.

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