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Topic: Lanthanides & Actinides  (Read 10656 times)

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Corvettaholic

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Lanthanides & Actinides
« on: April 20, 2004, 01:37:10 PM »
Are there any real world uses for any of the lanthanides or actinides? I know uranium and plutonium have their uses, they're found in the media quite a bit. But what about the rest of the stuff? How much of these are actually stable enough to exist for a reasonable amount of time before they decay?

Offline Mitch

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2004, 01:43:16 PM »
The Lanthanides are found in nature, and are quite stable.
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2004, 01:44:13 PM »
Didn't know that, what about actinides? I'm under the impression that they're all man-made. If the lanthanides are found in nature, do they serve any purpose or are they just "there"?

Uranium and plutonium are both actinides, just noticed that, so I guess my original assumption is wrong. Thinking about it, americerium is used for smoke alarms, and we use some other weird one for some our radiological equipment in the army, but I'm at a loss for some of the others.

That got me thinking about unstability, so if a lot of these are unstable (are they?), they must be radioactive right? As I understand radioactivty, the element in question will either emit alpha, beta, or gamma radiation or a combination of. Does radioactivty allow for emissions of anything else?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2004, 01:47:19 PM by Corvettaholic »

Offline jdurg

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 04:16:17 PM »
If you're a cigarette, pipe, cigar, "other" smoker, you're VERY thankful for the existance of the lanthanides.  A great portion of those elements will spark at the slightest touch, and a mixture of lanthanum, cerium, and a few others is known as Misch Metal and is the main componenet in flints.  The slightest scraping causes it to spark.  Neodymium is made famous by the Neodymium-Boron-Iron magnets which are incredibly strong, and Gadolinium is used as a contrasting agent in MRIs.  Have patience.  I'll eventually get to the Lanthanides.   ;)
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 06:11:29 PM »
Neodymium should've occured to me! I love the rare-earth magnets, I think they're tons of fun. I cannabalize them from SCSI hard drives until I can afford to buy a big 'un from forcefield.com. About 20 mins ago I did a google search for lanthanides, and I saw the misch metal you spoke of, neat stuff. I need to look more into that, cause I'm SURE I can find a fun use for it.

Jdurg- I can't wait for halogens!

Offline Mitch

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 06:28:06 PM »
forcefield.com looks like just a link page?
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Corvettaholic

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2004, 06:52:21 PM »
Just checked it, apparently they went out of business last week. Well crap! Now I need to find another high-powered rare earth magnet manufacturer. They had such good prices too!

I have a question about misch metal and sparking, but I'll start a different subject for that one.

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2004, 10:36:20 PM »
In my articles, check out the link to Emovendo's E-Bay auctions.  He sells a TON of rare-earth magnets.  I know you can't wait for the halogens, but that one will be a while since I still don't have any chlorine and I can't get in touch with the one guy I know of who can make visible samples of fluorine gas that will last a while.   ;D
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Offline hmx9123

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Re:Lanthanides & Actinides
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 12:34:47 AM »
Americium is used in smoke detectors as well.  There's more uses than you might think for the lanthanides and actinides.  Pick up a CRC and read through the elements section.

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