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Why Lutetium & Lawrencium always been in f-orbital group?

  1. Jan 5, 2017 #1
    It seems that for folks of my generation (Baby Boomer, Generation X), the canonical arrangement of the Periodic Table was for the f-orbital-filling elements to be in a separate section at the bottom. OK, I can see why this makes sense as otherwise the table would be really wide with a lot of empty space. But these 2 elements had always seemed to be included in this bottom section, which is OK for most of those elements, but not for these 2 as the f-orbital should be finished filling up.

    Now, what I think happened is that once Lawrencium had been added, new elements became much more difficult to produce, and so rather than have a dangling Lw all by its lonesome, the table presenters simply lumped it and its eka-cousin Lu with the f-orbital sections and just figured that the elegance of the table at that time was worth having it be wrong.

    I see that Wikipedia has a proper table, that seems to be at a very elegant arrangement, now that all the elements up to eka-Radon (Oganesson) have been named/added. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perio...periodic_table,_with_Lu_and_Lr_in_group_3.png
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Same approach is used with d block, isn't it?

    Sure, the d block was never separated from the rest and put below (or at least I have never seen PT done this way), but when it sits in the middle it stands out together with the Zn, Cd and Hg, all having d10 configuration.
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