Why Does Actinium Glow in the Dark? Discovery – Element – Properties

What is Actinium?

Actinium is a radioactive chemical element that is part of the IIIB group of periodic table. It has the symbol Ac and atomic number 89. It is about 150 heavier than Radium. Actinium is first discovered in 1899 by Andre-Louis Debierne, a French chemist. Actinium was found by Debierne in the residue of Uranium ores left after French physicist Pierre and Marie Curie extracted Radium from the Uranium ores. Read Also: Properties and Uses of Actinium

Actinium was also discovered independently by Friedrich Otto Giesel in 1902. Giesel stated that Actinium has the similar properties like Lanthanum and called it Emanium. The word Actinium itself was derived from the greek word “aktinos” which means rays. Read Also: Atomic Theory by Rutherford

Actinium is a rare silvery-white radioactive metal that glows blue in the dark. Actinium has a melting point of 1323 K and a boiling point of 3473 K. Naturally occurring Actinium in the earth’s crust is very rare. It can be made in the lab by firing neutrons at Radium, but it has very few important use. Here, we will be explaining about why does Actinium glow in the dark.

Use of Actinium

98% of Actinium is strictly used for research purpose only. Other known use of is that Actinium-225 is used for medical purpose to produce Bi-213 as a radio-immunotherapy agent. Actinium-225 has a 10-day half-life, decaying by the emission of alpha particles which have been studied for their use in nuclear medicine. Read Also: List Of Chemicals That Glow Under Black Light

Hazards of Actinium

Accidental ingestion of Actinium leads to serious health hazards. It can lead to deposition in the bones and liver, causing severe damage like cancer due to radioactive decay.

A small exposure of Actinium’s radioactive can be carcinogenic. An extended exposure of those radioactive may lead to cancer, immune system damage, leukemia, deformities, and fertility problems. Read Also: Harmful Irritant Chemicals

Why does Actinium glow in the dark?

Actinium glows in the dark due to its intense radioactivity with a pale blue light which originates from the surrounding air ionized by the emitted energetic particles (caused by its radioactivity). The color is the result of its reaction with Oxygen. Read Also: Why Do Different Elements Produce Different Colors of Light When Heated?

Indeed, now you know why does Actinium glow in the dark. This chemicals compound uses in some chemistry research in laboratory. Learn more about chemistry with us here!