There are many kinds of chemicals in this world. The basic one will be organic and inorganic. Not only limited to the function but also the properties the chemicals have. One of the chemical exists in this world is actinium. Actinium is an element with symbol Ac. It was one of the earliest discovered chemical.
Discovered in 1902, actinium is among the first of the transition metal. Being one of the basic compound, actinium comes with many properties and use. To know more about the properties and uses of actinium, see the list below:
- Melting Point 1050 C
Actinium belongs to metal compound that has high melting point. Unlike other compound that does not exceed 1000 C. Therefore, actinium is a pretty solid compound. When involved in reaction, the one that reaches melting point only that will blend with other chemicals.
Related to: Uses of Alkaline Earth Metals in Daily Life
- Natural Occurrence in Uranium Ores
Actinium is the first among seven metal mineral found in the earth crush. As for the natural occurrence, it appears and frequent in uranium ores. Actinium occurs from radioactive leftover. When radioactive breakdown or uranium decays, it will create actinium. It also resulted from increased atom from the process stated previously.
- Radioactive Isotopes
All of isotopes from actinium are radioactive. It is due to the fact that most elements of actinium are from radioactive residue. Also, actinium is one of the purest metal form. It makes actinium different from other compounds. The ones that occur naturally from radioactive reside are actinium 227 and actinium 228. The isotopes of actinium depend on the mass number of protons and neurons.
- Silver White Compound
Actinium has silvery white color from its natural occurrence. However, it glows blue when it is in the dark. It happens due to the radioactive metal of the compound. The radioactive compound of actinium excites the air and when it meets with the silvery white actinium, it combines together and creates blue color. Despite having the ability to turn color, this one has not utilized publicly yet most likely due to the toixicity of radioactive residue.
Also read: Calcium Properties and Uses in Everyday Life
- Source of Alpha Radiation
Scientists named the compound as the source of alpha radiation. Alpha radiation itself means the pure radiation in the air. Unlike other radiation that occurs from secondary reaction, actinium belongs to alpha radiation means it is the main and natural source of radiation. Thus, it makes actinium a pretty toxic chemical. Thus, human cannot come in contact directly with the this chemical.
- Belongs to Period 7
Actinium belongs to period 7 of chemical table. It is among one of the earliest discovered compound with 3 blocks group. It also belongs to block d with atomic number 89. The chemical is pretty solid due to high melting point. Also, the radiation ray of the actinium is pretty thick as it is the source of alpha rays.
- Boiling Point 3200 C
The boiling point of actinium is 3200 C, which is higher than the melting point and thrice the degree of the melting point. It takes a very high temperature to boil actinium and only through set up research that the boiling and melting points got accomplished. Moreover, the radiation it sparks takes time to really melt away with the surrounding.
- Reacts to Oxygen Quickly
Another property of actinium is that it reacts quickly to oxygen. When it meets oxygen, it creates a white cloud of actinium in the air. When the white cloud occurs, the oxidation impedes as the moisture in the air blend with the white cloud. The oxidation state of actinium to oxygen reaches +3 frequency.
Related to: Radioactive Chemicals List
- Produced Artificially for Further Research
Actinium actually occurs naturally from uranium residue. However, it is very scarce to find them deep in the earth crust. For further research, scientists invented artificial actinium for research and use. The mechanism is by studying the elements of natural actinium and recreate it on laboratory. This way, scientists can lessen the scarcity of actinium.
- Evaporated in Higher Temperature
Having high melting point and boiling point, actinium can only evaporate in higher temperature. When the degree reached, actinium will evaporate to the air. Otherwise, when it is only in lower temperature, it only results in incomplete transformation of actinium.
Uses of Actinium
Actinium generally is not for public use due to its toxicity and scarcity. Yet, there are still some uses of actinium to mention despite it not being the main accomodity.
- For Radioactive Research
Actinium is commonly for radioactive research as it has many radioactive elements resulted from uranium residue. The radioactive research uses actinium to determine the radiation ray and possibly a nuclear reaction that leads to the creation of nuclear weapon. Aside from that, there is not yet industrial use of actinium as the radiation of actinium is very toxic.
- For Chemical Research
When actinium first found, the first thing chemist ad scientist did is by determining the element of actinium, put it onto periodic table and classify it. That applies to other chemicals and compound as it seem actinium has no other use despite being one of the compound in periodic table but need to be mentioned nonetheless.
There is also a prediction that actinium will play big part in the development of radioactive research such as nuclear bomb and weapon but the research is not due yet and any possible use in the future may show up as the research progress. Meanwhile, that’s all the explanation of properties and uses of actinium.