We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Actinium?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Jan 31, 2024
Our promise to you
AllTheScience is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AllTheScience, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Actinium is a radioactive chemical element which is found in trace amounts in uranium ore. This element has a relatively short half life, and it is so radioactive that it has few industrial uses. The primary use for actinium is in scientific research. Consumers should rarely, if ever, interact with this element, which is just as well since it is extremely dangerous in the hands of people who are not experienced in handling radioactive materials.

When this element is isolated, it proves to be a silvery color, and it will glow blue in the dark due to its radioactivity. The element shares a number of chemical properties with lanthanum, and the radioactivity makes it naturally extremely toxic. Actinium also produces a number of isotopes which have some research applications as well. On the periodic table of elements, you can find actinium by looking for the symbol Ac, and the element's atomic number is 89.

Credit for the discovery of actinium is typically given to Andre Debierne, a French chemist who isolated it from a uranium ore in 1899. Around the same time, radium and polonium were also isolated from uranium ore by Marie and Pierre Curie, showing that uranium held a few well guarded secrets. The name of the element is taken from the Greek aktin, which means “ray,” a reference to its radioactivity.

The primary users of actinium are scientific researchers, who utilize it as a source of neutrons in nuclear research. An isotope of actinium can also be used to bombard bismuth to produce some interesting reactions, and this isotope is also used in nuclear medicine. In addition to being found naturally, the element can also be produced synthetically, as was proved in 2000, when Australian researchers used a linear accelerator to produce a synthetic version.

Like other radioactive elements, actinuim is toxic, and it should be handled with care. Exposure to relatively small amounts can be very dangerous, and it should not be ingested. Researchers who work with the element typically use protective measures and monitor their radiation exposure to avoid levels which could cause radiation sickness or long term damage.

AllTheScience is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AllTheScience researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon274485 — On Jun 11, 2012

What are the uses of actinium? Please answer my question ASAP.

By anon118051 — On Oct 12, 2010

does it have any uses besides Thermoelectric power?

By anon116498 — On Oct 06, 2010

What are its uses?

By anon111576 — On Sep 17, 2010

does this element glow blue?

By anon83339 — On May 10, 2010

it was discovered by Andre Debierne in 1899.

By anon79315 — On Apr 22, 2010

it wasn't found. it was discovered.

By anon44911 — On Sep 11, 2009

who found the element actinium?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
AllTheScience, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AllTheScience, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.