The actinide series of elements encompasses all the 15 chemical elements that have properties attributable to the presence of low-lying 7p, 6d, and 5f orbitals such that their tripositive ions have electronic configurations 7p06d05f n , where n = 0,1,2,…,14. According to this definition, actinium, element 89, is the first member of the actinide series of elements, although it has no 5f electrons in its metallic, gaseous, or ionic forms. As such, its position in group 3 (in current IUPAC terminology) or group 3B (commonly used in some American textbooks) of the periodic table is analogous to that of its homolog, lanthanum, in the lanthanide series. This definition, which includes actinium as the first of the actinides (Seaborg, 1994), parallels the accepted inclusion of lanthanum as the first member of the lanthanide series (Moeller, 1963).


Rare Earth Nuclear Property Nuclear Regulatory Commission Lanthanide Series Actinide Element 
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© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. W. Kirby
    • 1
  • Lester R. Morss
    1. 1.Mound LaboratoryMiamisburgUSA

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