• Question: What are lanthanides and actinides?

    Asked by ellascientist to clairemarieroberts, Faye, Martin, Mus, Pete on 23 Apr 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 23 Apr 2012:

      Hi ellascientist! I’m not a chemist, so I don’t really know the answer to your question in too much detail. I remember from doing A-Level chemistry that lanthanides are the rare earth metals in the periodic table, and actinides are radioactive metals.That’s all I can recall though, sorry!

    • Photo: Martin Lindley

      Martin Lindley answered on 23 Apr 2012:

      I agree 🙂

      its all chemistry to me 🙂 and be rare earth and radioactive metals.

    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 23 Apr 2012:

      Me too! I don’t know much about chemistry but I seem to remember that lanthanides are in block 5d of the periodic table…they’re very reactive, are soft metals, and have really high melting and boiling points. In short though, they are relatively rare earth metals. As for actinides, they are radioactive metals that tarnish easily in the air! It’s pretty random but I seem to remember they react with boiling water or dilute acid to release hydrogen gas…that memory is recalled from some wacky experiment that we did in Chemistry at school!