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The Periodic Table: Actinides

Actinides 

Actinoid element, also called actinide element, any of a series of 15 consecutive chemical elements in the periodic table from actinium to lawrencium (atomic numbers 89–103). As a group, they are significant largely because of their radioactivity. Although several members of the group, including uranium (the most familiar), occur naturally, most are man-made. Both uranium and plutonium have been used in atomic weapons for their explosive power and currently are being employed in nuclear plants for the production of electrical power. These elements are also called the actinide elements. However, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the international body in charge of chemical nomenclature, prefers the term actinoid, since the -ide ending is usually reserved for negatively charged ions. (Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica)