Skip to Main Content

Lawrencium (Lr): Actinides

Lawrencium (Lr)

What is Lawrencium?

Lawrencium (Lr), synthetic chemical element, the 14th member of the actinoid series of the periodic table, atomic number 103. Not occurring in nature, lawrencium (probably as the isotope lawrencium-257) was first produced (1961) by chemists Albert Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, A.E. Larsh, and R.M. Latimer at the University of California, Berkeley, by bombarding a mixture of the longest-lived isotopes of californium (atomic number 98) with boron ions (atomic number 5) accelerated in a heavy-ion linear accelerator. The element was named after American physicist Ernest O. Lawrence. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

The 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. Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry

Lawrencium Facts

Lawrencium is named for Ernest O. Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron, which was instrumental in the discovery of many elements. Despite its placement late in the actinide series, lawrencium behaves more like the tripositive elements that come earlier in the actinide series, and less like dipositive nobelium, its neighboring element. Lawrencium is artificially produced, and has only been made in small quantities. It can be produced by bombarding californium placed in a linear accelerator with boron ions. Lawrencium has 10 recognized isotopes. Continue reading from Live Science

Chart of Elemental Properties for Lawrencium

Watch a Video on Lawrencium and the Periodic Table

Check out our Science Database or a Science Book from our Collection

Link to Science Reference Center Database
Link to Elemental by Tim James in the Catalog
Link to The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction by Eric Scerri in the Catalog
Link to Eureka by Chad Orzel in the Catalog
Link to Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey Williams in Hoopla
Link to Superheavy by Kit Chapman in the Catalog
Link to Absolutely Small by Michael D. Fayer in the Catalog
Link to Seven Elements That Changed The World by John Browne in the Catalog
Link to The Elements by Theodore W. Gray in the Catalog
Link to 10 Women Who Changed Science, And The World by Catherine Whitlock in the Catalog
Link to From Arsenic to Zirconium by Peter Davern in the Catalog
Link to Chemistry Demystified by Linda Williams in the Catalog
Link to The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean in the Catalog

Return to the Periodic Table of Elements Resource Guide Series