Periodic Table > Lawrencium
 

Terminology


Allotropes
Some elements exist in several different structural forms, these are called allotropes.


For more information on Murray Robertson’s image see Uses and properties facts below.

 

Fact box terminology


Group
Elements appear in columns or ‘groups’ in the periodic table. Members of a group typically have similar properties and electron configurations in their outer shell.


Period
Elements are laid out into rows or ‘periods’ so that similar chemical behaviour is observed in columns.


Block
Elements are organised into blocks by the orbital type in which the outer electrons are found. These blocks are named for the characteristic spectra they produce: sharp, principal, diffuse, and fundamental.


Atomic Number
The number of protons in the nucleus.


Atomic Radius/non -bonded (Å)
based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties, for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.


Electron Configuration
The arrangements of electrons above the last (closed shell) noble gas.


Isotopes
Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes.


Melting Point (oC)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Melting Point (K)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Melting Point (oF)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (oC)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (K)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (oF)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Sublimation
Elements that do not possess a liquid phase at atmospheric pressure (1 atm) are described as going through a sublimation process.


Density (g cm-3)
Density is the mass of a substance that would fill 1 cm3 at room temperature.


Relative Atomic Mass
The mass of an atom relative to that of Carbon-12. This is approximately the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Where more than one isotope exists the value given is the abundance weighted average.


Key Isotopes (% abundance)
An element must by definition have a fixed number of protons in its nucleus, and as such has a fixed atomic number, however variants of an element can exist with differing numbers of neutrons, and hence a different atomic masses (e.g. 12C has 6 protons and 6 neutrons and 13C has 6 protons and 7 neutrons).


CAS number
The Chemical Abstracts Service registry number is a unique identifier of a particular chemical, designed to prevent confusion arising from different languages and naming systems (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).

Fact box

 
Group Actinides  Melting point 1627 oC, 2960.6 oF, 1900.15 K 
Period Boiling point Unknown 
Block Density (g cm-3) Unknown 
Atomic number 103  Relative atomic mass 262.11  
State at room temperature Solid  Key isotopes 262Lr 
Electron configuration [Rn] 5f147s27p  CAS number 22537-19-5 
ChemSpider ID 28934 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database
 

Uses and properties terminology


Image Explanation

Murray Robertson is the artist behind the images which make up Visual Elements. This is where the artist explains his interpretation of the element and the science behind the picture.


Natural Abundance

Where this element is most commonly found in nature.


Biological Roles

The elements role within the body of humans, animals and plants. Also functionality in medical advancements both today and years ago.


Appearance

The description of the element in its natural form.

Uses and properties

 
Image explanation
The element is named after Ernest Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron particle accelerator. This was designed to accelerate sub-atomic particles around a circle until they have enough energy to smash into an atom and create a new atom. This image is based on the abstract particle trails produced in a cyclotron.
Appearance
A radioactive metal of which only a few atoms have ever been created.
Uses
Lawrencium has no uses outside research.
Biological role
Lawrencium has no known biological role.
Natural abundance
Lawrencium does not occur naturally. It is produced by bombarding californium with boron.
 
Atomic data terminology

Atomic radius/non -bonded (Å)
Based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties,for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.


Electron affinity (kJ mol-1)
The energy released when an additional electron is attached to the neutral atom and a negative ion is formed (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). *


Electronegativity (Pauling scale)
The degree to which an atom attracts electrons towards itself, expressed on a relative scale as a function bond dissociation energies, Ed in eV. χA - χB =(eV)-1/2sqrt(Ed(AB)-[Ed(AA)+Ed(BB)]/2), with χH set as 2.2 (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).


1st Ionisation energy (kJ mol-1)
The minimum energy required to remove an electron from a neutral atom in its ground state (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).


Covalent radius (Å)
The size of the atom within a covalent bond, given for typical oxidation number and coordination (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). ***

Atomic data

 
Atomic radius, non-bonded (Å) 2.46 Covalent radius (Å) 1.61
Electron affinity (kJ mol-1) Unknown Electronegativity
(Pauling scale)
Unknown
Ionisation energies
(kJ mol-1)
 
1st
472.778
2nd
-
3rd
-
4th
-
5th
-
6th
-
7th
-
8th
-
 

Mining/Sourcing Information

Data for this section of the data page has been provided by the British Geological Survey. To review the full report please click here or please look at their website here.


Key for numbers generated


Governance indicators

1 (low) = 0 to 2

2 (medium-low) = 3 to 4

3 (medium) = 5 to 6

4 (medium-high) = 7 to 8

5 (high) = 9


Reserve distribution (%)

1 (low) = 0 to 30 %

2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 %

3 (medium) = 45 to 60 %

4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 %

5 (high) = 75 %

(Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, Be, As, Na, S, In, Cl, Ca and Ge are allocated a score of 2 since reserve base information is unavailable. Reserve base data are also unavailable for coal; however, reserve data for 2008 are available from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).)


Production Concentration

1 (low) = 0 to 30 %

2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 %

3 (medium) = 45 to 60 %

4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 %

5 (high) = 75 %


Crustal Abundance

1 (low) = 100 to 1000 ppm

2 (medium-low) =10 to 100 ppm

3 (medium) = 1 to 10 ppm

4 (medium-high) = 0.1 to 1 ppm

5 (high) = 0.1 ppm

(Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, He is allocated a score of 2 since crustal abundance data is unavailable.)


Explanations for terminology


Crustal Abundance (ppm)

The abundance of an element in the Earth's crust in parts-per-million (ppm) i.e. The number of atoms of this element per 1 million atoms of crust.


Sourced

The country with the largest reserve base.


Reserve distribution (%)

This is a measure of the spread of future supplies, recording the percentage of a known resource likely to be available in the intermediate future (reserve base) located in the top three countries.


Production Concentrations

This reports the percentage of an element produced in the top three countries. The higher the value, the larger risk there is to supply.


Political stability of top producer

The World Bank produces a global percentile rank of political stability. The scoring system is given below, and the values for all three production countries were summed.


Relative Supply Risk Index

The Crustal Abundance, Reserve distribution (%), Production Concentration and Governance Factor scores are summed and then divided by 2, to provide an overall Relative Supply Risk Index.

Supply risk

 
Relative supply risk Unknown
Crustal abundance (ppm) Unknown
Recycling rate (%) Unknown
Substitutability Unknown
Production concentration (%) Unknown
Reserve distribution (%) Unknown
Top 3 producers
  • Unknown
Top 3 reserve holders
  • Unknown
Political stability of top producer Unknown
Political stability of top reserve holder Unknown
 

Oxidation states and isotopes


Key for Isotopes


Half Life
  y years
  d days
  h hours
  m minutes
  s seconds
Mode of decay
  α alpha particle emission
  β negative beta (electron) emission
  β+ positron emission
  EC orbital electron capture
  sf spontaneous fission
  ββ double beta emission
  ECEC double orbital electron capture

Terminology


Common Oxidation states
The oxidation state of an atom is a measure of the degree of oxidation of an atom. It is defined as being the charge that an atom would have if all bonds were ionic. Free atoms have an oxidation state of 0, and the sum of oxidation numbers within a substance must equal the overall charge.


Important Oxidation states
The most common oxidation states of an element in its compounds.


Isotopes
Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes.

Oxidation states and isotopes

 
Common oxidation states 3
Isotopes Isotope Atomic mass Natural abundance (%) Half life Mode of decay
  262Lr 262.11 - 3.6 h  EC 
        sf 
 

Pressure and temperature - advanced terminology


Specific heat capacity (J kg-1 K-1)

Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy needed to change the temperature of a kilogram of a substance by 1 K.


Young's modulus (GPa)

Young's modulus is a measure of the stiffness of a substance, that is, it provides a measure of how difficult it is to extend a material, with a value given by the ratio of tensile strength to tensile strain.


Shear modulus (GPa)

The shear modulus of a material is a measure of how difficult it is to deform a material, and is given by the ratio of the shear stress to the shear strain.


Bulk modulus (GPa)

The bulk modulus is a measure of how difficult to compress a substance. Given by the ratio of the pressure on a body to the fractional decrease in volume.


Vapour Pressure (Pa)

Vapour pressure is the measure of the propensity of a substance to evaporate. It is defined as the equilibrium pressure exerted by the gas produced above a substance in a closed system.

Pressure and temperature data – advanced

 
Specific heat capacity
(J kg-1 K-1)
Unknown Young's modulus (GPa) Unknown
Shear modulus (GPa) Unknown Bulk modulus (GPa) Unknown
Vapour pressure  
Temperature (K)
400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
Pressure (Pa)
- - - - - - - - - - -
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History

This element had a controversial history of discovery. In 1958, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) bombarded curium with nitrogen and appeared to get element 103, isotope-257. In 1960, they bombarded californium with boron hoping to get isotope-259 but the results were inconclusive. In 1961, they bombarded curium with boron and claimed isotope-257.


In 1965, the Soviet Union’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) successfully bombarded americium with oxygen and got isotope-256. They also checked the LBL’s work, and claimed it was inaccurate. The LBL then said their product must have been isotope-258. The International Unions of Pure and Applied Chemistry awarded discovery to the LBL.

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Podcasts

Listen to Lawrencium Podcast
Transcript :

Chemistry in its element - lawrencium


(Promo) 

You're listening to Chemistry in its element brought to you by Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry 

(End promo) 

Meera Senthilingam 

This week it's our final chemical element, and it doesn't seem to know its place. Eric Scerri.

Eric Scerri 

Element 103 in the periodic table is called lawrencium. It was first synthesised in 1961 at what was then called the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, situated close to San Francisco. The synthesis was carried out by a team of scientists led by Albert Ghiorso. The element was named after Ernest Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron particle accelerator that was used in the synthesis of many transuranium elements. 

Starting in 1969 the chemical properties of lawrencium began to be explored. In the gas phase the element forms a trichloride. Studies of its aqueous phase also show that it displays trivalency. You might think that these experiments and others like it would have settled the precise position of lawrencium in the periodic table, but this has not been the case. 

In recent years there has been an ongoing debate concerning the placement of lawrencium, and also element 71 or lutetium. Some periodic tables place lutetium and lawrencium one above the other, as the last of the lanthanides and the actinides respectively. 

However, on a significant number of more recent periodic tables you will find lutetium and lawrencium classified as transition metals and placed directly underneath scandium and yttrium in group 3 of the periodic table. How can such disagreement still persist at the end of the first decade of the 21st century? 

The answer is that electronic configurations of atoms are not sufficient to settle this question, just as they do not fully settle the question of where hydrogen and helium should be placed in the periodic table, a point I will return to later. 

The elements placed directly under scandium and yttrium in older periodic tables are lanthanum and actinium, but on the basis of electronic configurations lutetium and lawrencium have as much right to occupy these two places.

The trouble began when yet another element, ytterbium, the one before lutetium, was assigned a revised electronic configuration of 4f14 6s2 as its two outer most orbitals. The configuration of lutetium did not change and since it consisted of 4f14 5d1 6s2 this meant that lutetium could now be considered as the first element in the third row of the d-block, and ytterbium as the final member of the lanthanide series. 

One possible resolution comes from considering the long-form or 32 column wide periodic table, as compared with the more usual 18 element wide or medium-long form. If one tries to construct the long-form table it is lutetium and lawrencium that fall more naturally under scandium and yttrium in group 3. If one insists on placing lanthanum and actinium in group 3 the atomic number ordering becomes highly irregular. 

But this fact has not convinced everyone and nor have the numerous chemical and physical similarities that exist when lutetium and lawrencium are considered as homologues of scandium and yttrium. To make matters worse, the configuration of this week's element, lawrencium, has now been revised as a result of some calculations that include quantum relativistic effects. Although it has not been possible to make even indirect observations of this configuration, the calculations strongly suggest that the most energetic electron in the atom of lawrencium is in a 7p orbital and not 6d orbital as previously believed. 

The official governing body, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has so far refused to take sides on the question of which elements make up group 3. They maintain that they only preside over questions regarding the discovery of new elements and the assigning of new names to elements. 

Meanwhile the debate has been waged rather vigorously in the pages of the Journal of Chemical Education where several authors, including myself, have aired their opposing views. It is strange to think that even today the placement of not just one, but two elements remains in doubt. And this is not to mention the related debates in which some experts argue, rather plausibly, that hydrogen should be placed at the top of the halogen group and helium should be moved to the head of the alkaline earth metals. 

Clearly the periodic table, and the elements, still hold many surprises in store for us. 

Meera Senthilingam 

So although that's it for the chemicals currently found in the periodic table, there may still be changes and additions to look out for in the future. That was UCLA scientist and author with the undecided chemistry of lawrencium. 

Now that's it for this series of Chemistry in its element, bringing you the discovery, tales and chemistry of course of the chemical elements. But don't fear, we're back next week with a whole new series looking into the exciting and complex world of chemical compounds. So join us then to find out more. But until the new series, thank you for listening. I'm Meera Senthilingam. 

(Promo) 

Chemistry in its element is brought to you by the Royal Society of Chemistry and produced by thenakedscientists dot com. There's more information and other episodes of Chemistry in its element on our website at chemistryworld dot org forward slash elements. 

(End promo) 

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References

 
Images:  Visual Elements © Murray Robertson 2011
Mining and Sourcing data:  British Geological Survey – natural environment research council.
Text:  John Emsley Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2011.
Additional information for platinum, gold, neodymium and dysprosium obtained from Material Value Consultancy Ltd www.matvalue.com
Data: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press, 92nd Edition, 2011.
G. W. C. Kaye and T. H. Laby Tables of Physical and Chemical Constants, Longman, 16th Edition, 1995.
Members of the RSC can access these books through our library.