Talk:Group 3 element

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Definition of group 3[edit]

Poking around the web: group 3 does not seem to be well defined, due to the Lanthanides and Actinides. Some tables list Lanthanum and Actinium as members of group 3, while others list Lutetium and Lawrencium. Another I found left all of these off. Does anyone know the IUPAC standard? -- hike395 14:16, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I went with the Wikipedia standards found in the periodic table entry. If someone knows the IUPAC authoritatively, they should update here but AFAIK the current (Dec 3, 03) version should be correct. fvincent 20:03, Dec 2, 2003 (UTC)
The IUPAC table is at I'm not sure if this helps or not. Eric119 01:34, Feb 19, 2004 (UTC)
IUPAC position: [1], page 10, chapter 1.21
Los Alamos National Laboratory [2]

Sc, Y, La and Ac are group 3 elements, but lanthanides and actnides aren't. In the article Periodic table group it's said: A periodic table group is a vertical column in the periodic table of the elements. Lanthanides and actinides aren't in that vertical column.

Unfortunately, IUPAC appears to dodge the problem. Physchim62 (talk) 17:04, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

(See also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemistry#Group 3) Femto 17:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

According to IUPAC (1970) both La and Lu belong to lanthanoids, also Ac and Lr to actinoids - [3], page 10, chapter 1.21. I would assume that it implies that the group 3 should only have Sc and Y elements. It looks to me that the literature that includes either La/Ac and Lu/Lr in group 3 has roots (original editions) that date around 1970 (around the IUPAC decision). (I am working on a comparison of J. D. Lee - Concise Inorganic Chemistry editions 2/4/5 (1964/1991/1999) to see how the author reacted to that decision.) At the same time, the inclusion of all lanthanoids and actinoids in group 3 may be based on the same IUPAC document that mentions group 3A (same page as the lanthanoids reference).

However, whatever is decided here, I would suggest that the main graphics that shows group 3 elements including Lu/Lr (upper right) be modified to reflect that the inclusion of the 3rd and 4th element is at least debated. Otherwise, people don't read the first paragraph, and to source this document based only on that picture. Maybe additionally, the very first paragraph should be bulletized, to more clearly express the lack of consensus for group 3 definition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

 Done Double sharp (talk) 13:51, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You imply? I imply Lu can be both group 3 member and lanthanide. Do the rules prohibit that? (Not to say we don't blindly follow their rules). Plus, we mention the possibility it the very first para. Please don't bulletize. The corresponding section is already. Bullets don't look good outside lists. Moreover, I dislike the asterisk note. If you look carefully, you will see [note 1] near the three depicting the group number, that's enough and simply looks better without losing in informativeness. If anyone stupidly claims there are no other opinions, they will be proved wrong. Please leave as was.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 17:05, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Anybody who doesn't bother reading the first paragraph probably wouldn't bother clicking the "[note 1]" either. Double sharp (talk) 13:46, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I would assume that R8R properly explained problem with that note "If you look carefully, you will see [note 1] near the three" - the point of the last edit was to make it visible to the majority that may not necessarily look carefully. So, I agree with Double sharp comment.
I have no problem to not bulletize, as it looks that neither of you likes that idea. However, again R8R contradicted itself, as we have a list of 4 possibilities in the first paragraph, so why not to bulletize that list. To me that dispute clearly affects the whole article, as such it is rather an important part of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest having a conspicuous link to the Group borders section at the top of the article. I'm not sure exactly where the best position might be; do you have any suggestions? Double sharp (talk) 04:49, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Possibly moving Group borders section closer to the top would be good enough. It is kind of strange to talk about characteristics before even defining what belongs to the group. I like history section, but again it is written just for Sc, Y, Lu, Lr. So, maybe Group borders section should be the first, otherwise group borders are kind of way down, and deemphesized? Also, if you bring it up, maybe the link you suggested, and simplified text would do? I go with whatever you decide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
OK guys, this seems silly for me, but I won't object. Whatever you do is fine given your best intentions (because there's no way to oppose it without getting too involved-- I don't wanna). Please just remember there already the note 1 anfd the asterisk note very close and telling the same info. If you want to keep some kind of asterisk, just keep in mind it's the Internet and it's the 21st century: I'd advise to add a clickable reference. See the infoboxes of many countries, such as Poland.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:00, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Jan 18 edits[edit]

I have serious doubts that the article appreciated the 'asskicking' (this revision), as you put it, and thus reverted to the old version.

>> In current IUPAC nomenclature, the elements in group 3 of the periodic table are scandium (Sc), yttrium (Y), lutetium (Lu) and lawrencium (Lr).

You can provide a cite where IUPAC says lutetium and lawrancium are in group 3, I assume?

>> These are the transition metals (or "d block elements"), with a groundstate outer electron configuration of d3.

What is that supposed to mean?

>> The Lanthanide Series elements, although similar to these metals in many respects, are generally considered as a separate series, as they exhibit additional properties associated with their partially-filled 4f shell.

"Generally considered", cite? What about non-generally? Lutetium generally is a lanthanide according to that link, it's separate from its own series? Ytterbium's 4f is filled, may we include it then? But this describes a series, not this group, which is not necessarily the same, anyway.

Femto 17:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, the whole periodic table bit imploded on my edits before I've run out time to fix it right now.

The article should reflect IUPAC guidelines, if it reflects anything... As it stands it is seriously flawed, since it implies that it is sensible to consider (for instance) elements in the middle of the actinides together with scandium as being part of the same chemical "group". This is bogus, as they have precious few similarities either in chemical behaviour or underlying electronic properties. --feline1 17:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

"Precious few similarities"!? The most noteworthy difference in their configurations is the filling up of the f-shell. They're all silverish metals. That's more than one can say about the carbon group. For crying out loud. Femto 22:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

It also talks nonsense about these elements being "rare" earths (they're not rare in abundance). --feline1 17:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I won't object to the removal of information like this which is not immediately relevant to the article. I'd like to point out however that the term "rare earth metals" reflects IUPAC guidelines (Chap3-3.04.pdf) and it groups Sc, Y, and the lanthanoids together. Not a far stretch and by no means bogus to assume a similarity between this and group 3, analogous to other groupings such as the noble gases respectively group 18. Femto 22:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Group 3 is most tidily thought of a Sc, Y, Lu, Lr because these are d-block elements (d0) with no partially filled f-shells... that's what IUPAC have been recommending. See also discussion on the boards at (University of Sheffield) if you dig around. --feline1 17:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Again I ask you to come forth with any clear IUPAC recommendations regarding the definition of their group 3. Coherent common-use examples are one thing, but it is not the place of an encyclopedia to simply select one definition because it's most 'tidy', present it as definite and uncontroversial, and disregard all other interpretations. Femto 22:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Further problems with the article Femto reverted to include egregious pidgeon Engrlish sentence structures such as "A Group 3 element is the series of elements in group 3 of the periodic table" and "All of these elements are classed in Group 3 because their outer electron shells hold three electrons", and the daft "However it seems that IUPAC does not include the Lanthanides and the Actinides in group 3." (so the final authority on chemical nomenclature disagrees with the article?!? Or "seems" to? wah?). As for Femto's linguistic quibbling with "generally considered", this is intended in the sense that Groups *ARE* generalizations about chemical behaviour! That's the whole point. You can talk about all these elements in the same breath because they show many GENERAL similarities (although there are always exceptions in the details). I see no good reason to revert my revision (before it was even half finished), the old article sucks!--feline1 19:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

We know it sucks. I'm open to any form of linguistic improvement, provided that those edits don't completely turn the whole meaning of the article inside out again. If there also would be some references for any of said meaning in the first place, the better. Femto 22:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Femto, with all due disrespect, you are wildly misunderstanding/misrepresenting what I've been writing. You would perhaps do better to, say, go to the library and read a graduate level chemistry textbook. For instance, above, when I say it makes no sense to consider scandium as being the the same group as elements in the middle of the actinide series, you claim that despite their wholly different electronic configuration that they are "both silvery metals". I find myself laughing out loud - do you know how many "silvery metals" there are in the period table?!? LOL Wheras electronic configurations (spectroscopy, bonding, magnetochemistry...) are key. Rather than have you vandalize any more of my work on the article, perhaps you can improve it yourself? --feline1 22:41, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
If I misunderstand, other people will misunderstand too. An encyclopedic article must be clear not only to those who have first read a chemistry textbook. For the third time, I ask you to provide any form of authoritative reference for your interpretation of the topic, and for the reasoning behind presenting it as definite in this article as your revision did.
Unless you care to define what you mean by "wholly different", I remain that, yes, they're all between the well-defined groups 2 and 4, and they're all more or less silvery metals. Hilarious that one could consider them as a distinct group, isn't it?
Regarding the last personal comment, see your talk page. Femto 15:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Femto, perhaps you could provide an authoritative reference for YOUR interpretation of the topic? I doubt you will be able to, as you just plain wrong in most of what you say. As such, I'd thank you to let people with some knowledge in the discipline get on and improve the article, which I was doing before you reverted me in mid-sentance. I have a chemistry degree from Oxford University, what are your credentials? --feline1 15:51, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
The whole point is that I don't have one interpretation, I cannot give you a reference for that. Please show, which of what I said is wrong, and why? I did not revert you mid-sentence, but two hours after you left an article with broken coding and no explanation of why the entire meaning changed. The table at IUPAC either does not put Lu & Lr into group 3, or all of 57-71 & 89-103, depending on how one reads it. The old article was at least consistent with the latter. My credentials are as irrelevant to this article as are yours, if you can't use them to provide it with the required neutrality and verifiability as per Wikipedia's policies, even when repeatedly asked to. Femto 19:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Two hours isn't much when the article's been crap for many months... I just got sidetracked at work. I would have gone back to it. The article was changed because it was factually wrong and gramatically wrong. Mistakes include the idea that the "rare earths" are rare, that they include the actinides, and that it makes any kind of sense to consider the actinides sharing similar chemical/structural/bonding/spectroscopic/magnetic... behaviour as scandium. All of which I've told you about 3 times already.--feline1 19:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's a page for Femto: --feline1 10:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

It groups Sc, Y, La to Lu, and Ac to Lr into group 3. …? Femto 12:28, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Another reference (which I haven't checked myself but I take it on good recommendation: J. Chem Ed. (1982) 59 634-636 --feline1 10:08, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The problem is not the lack of particular references. Or the undisputed factual inaccuracies in this article, just go ahead and fix those. The problem is the introduction of a definition as sole encyclopedic fact which is not backed as such by an authority or by common usage. A Sc+Y+Lu+Lr convention makes very much sense and, considering it, might even be more easy than Sc+Y+La+Ac to adopt Wikipedia-wide for the purpose of consistent examples. The article has to describe, not define. You told me your opinion, but that alone can't determine the content, especially if the fact doesn't change that it still would be non-neutral and inconsistent with several other sources and interpretations. Femto 12:28, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Femto, it is not my "opinion" that, (in so much as the orbital approximation has any kind of validity by the your get to Lr!) that Sc > Y > Lu > Lr are "d block" in terms of electronic configuration and consequence chemical/structural/bonding/spectroscopic/magnetic... behaviour. And thus make probably the best candidate for a "Group 3", if we must pick one. Obviously the article can mention other alternative schemes, but it's really of little consequence, it is only a naming convention. What matters is understanding the behaviour of the elements, and their electronic configuration generally provides the best model for interpreting that.

Wikipedia should not follow the convention[edit]

I've changed the article to represent current opinion (or, more precisely, current lack of opinion). It's OK for an encylcopedia to reflect the reality of organizational ambiguity among authoritative folks in the world. J. Chem. Ed. (1982) 59 634-636 says that it is better to place Lu and Lr in group 3 than to place La and Ac there if one looks at chemical properties. uses this article to explain its table, but the article does not compare the placement of Lu and Lr in this column to the placement of none-of-the-above/all-of-the-above by asterisks, which is what IUPAC tables look like now. Even though, as was pointed out, IUPAC doesn't express an opinion about what group 3 should be. For a very long, and very silly discussion about this, see (Hi again feline1!) The discussion ends when a webelements administrator writes: "We could certainly argue that my WebElements home page (and a lot of books) is a bit loose in that I have labelled the first row of the f-block as lanthanoid without making it clear that Lu is one as well. I'll find a way to clarify that..." but webelements continues to be more misleading than it should be. Wikipedia doesn't have to be so loose. One thing we should certainly not do is pretend that IUPAC has a convention that some elements are ungrouped just because it doesn't have a convention that rigorously groups them. I am recommending that the ungrouped elements article be deleted. Live with ambiguity. Don't read too much into it. Flying Jazz 01:58, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I.e. you mean this version appropriately represents the IUPAC view? (Perhaps except the link to ungrouped elements.) Nothing would be easier. --Eddi (Talk) 02:11, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
That table is factually incorrect because Lu is a lanthanide and Lr is an actinide. Those two are d-block elements (while the others in the series are f-block). If their colors were changed, that would be one of several possible alternatives that fall within IUPAC recommendations. Three options (all within IUPAC recommendations) are on my userpage because I changed the wikipedia table from La/Ac above to the current version last year (before I knew about that great element template!). Flying Jazz 02:41, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
(Template:Element isn't table-related, you didn't mean to link Template:Element_cell?)
Yes, I suppose I did mean that! Flying Jazz 21:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Nicely neutrally-descriptive rewrite and more elaborate than I could ever have done in a lifetime. my hero Anybody feel free to re-include the fixes to the remaining inaccuracies re:rare-earth-abundance (or altogether remove this part, it's not really relevant to the article anyway). See further Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elements#Group number convention. Femto 15:01, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Well so help me god, but I have re-worked Flying Jazz's edits further. I believe this gives the best description of the nomenclature yet. I would point out that the article still says virtuallY NOTHING about the damn CHEMISTRY of Group 3, which is a slightly more glaring omission!!!! But at least we seem to have gotten beyond this rather daft primacy-of-nomenclature angle which if I'm not mistaken simply came from Hong Kong high-school student Deryck's rather effusive pen some time last year, with its attendent misnomers about "ungrouped elements"--feline1 16:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
If you are one of two editors working on an article at the same moment, please have the courtesy to examine the changes made while you were working before erasing them. Flying Jazz 16:53, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
arrrrrrrggh! --feline1 16:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Please coordinate with Group number of lanthanides and actinides article[edit]

Please coordinate future changes to this article with the group number of lanthanides and actinides article so we have a self-consistent pair of articles that don't contradict each other even though they might say similar things twice and repeat themselves. Flying Jazz 21:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

We don't even NEED an article about that, the entire thing just spun out of young Deryck's fevered brow! It's like having an article about how that one time I put on the wrong pair of socks--feline1 21:15, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Well sure, we don't NEED one. Hell, we don't NEED an article about group 3 either. I don't even need wikipedia. Or the internet! I just need emeralds. Oh yes. Emeralds. Also, See Socks#Socks_in_popular_culture. I think the group number of lanthanides and actinides article is useful because it gives the link-loving template-users someplace to link to with their lanthanoid/actinoid articles. Should Wikipedia be content with the "n/a" under Uranium and just let it go at that with no further explanation? No I say! It might also be a better place for this discussion and other ones like it. It focuses the mind. Focuses the discussion. Pinpoints the differences and distinctions. Still, maybe you have a point. Let's leave it there for now with that name for a while, and see what other wikipedia folks have to say about it. Flying Jazz 21:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes but there's actually a danger of it going out the other side of "just not being very interesting" into actually "solidifying an validating and entirely false premise when we should never be thinking about things in that way in the first place". By which I mean: schoolkids should never forget the primacy of empirical observation of chemical properties over trying to force-fit things into arbitrary models for the sake of nomenclature fetishes. There is no pre-existing physical entity of a "group" of elements: we've simply noticed that some elements have similar periodicities in properties, and so can be put in "groups". Elements which DON'T fir that scheme not only don't belong in groups: they should make us question the usefulness of the concept of "groups" in the first place. Yes?--feline1 22:20, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Emphatically. In fact, I stole a sentence or two from you and added it to the introduction to the Group number of lanthanides and actinides article. Good copy there. Flying Jazz 23:23, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


(actually, forget it - amoungst the deluge of other edits, I see you did preserve the spirit of the comment I was just complaining was deleted. I'm going to lie down now :)--feline1 21:31, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

heh. I did delete that comment about Lr, and then realized one bit of it really had to be in there, and but that part back in. Happy nappy. Flying Jazz 21:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Ancient representation of new revision[edit]

After walking through the various periodic tables I see that periodic table (block) is kind of a compromise between some of the views expressed here. I have to look at it in more detail when I'm awake, though. --Eddi (Talk) 06:48, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Group 3 element/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: FREYWA 03:20, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I've recently become engaged in strategic protein folding with Foldit, but I can prove that I'm not addicted to that by reviewing this article. Besides, the July GOCE drive is about to start, and I'm participating. Cheers! FREYWA 03:20, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:


  • Aren't most of these resolved already? A quick read through the article shows that most, if not all, of these points, are out of date. Lanthanum-138 (talk) 10:15, 6 July 2011 (UTC)



  • The separation of lutetium from ytterbium was first described by Urbain and the naming honor therefore went to him but neoytterbium was eventually reverted back to ytterbium and in 1949, the spelling of element 71 was changed to lutetium. (History)
  • No experiments have been performed to create unpenttrium, unbiunium or any element that could be considered the next group 3 element; however, unbiunium is the element with the lowest atomic number that has not been tried to be created and thus has chances to be, while unpenttrium, unpentpentium or any other element considered if preceded by lawrencium is very unlikely to be created. (History)
  • In their most commonly encountered tripositive ion forms, these elements do not possess any partially filled f-orbitals, thus continuing the scandium—yttrium—lanthanum—actinium trend, in which all the elements have relationship similar to that of elements of the calcium—strontium—barium—radium series, the elements' left neighbors in s-block. However, this is in disagreement with other d-block groups, in which group 3 lies as well, especially its right neighbors, group 4, in which zirconium, hafnium and rutherfordium share similar chemical properties and not showing a clear trend. (Group borders)
  • These elements are the last in lanthanide and actinide series, respectively. Since the f-shell is nominally full in the ground state electron configuration for both of these metals, they behave most like other period 6 and period 7 d-block metals out of all the lanthanides and actinides, and thus exhibit the most similarities in properties with scandium and yttrium, similarly to other d-block groups. (Group borders)
  • This sometimes is believed to be is the inclusion of all 30 lanthanide and actinide elements as included in group 3. Lanthanides, as electropositive trivalent metals, all have a closely related chemistry, and all show many similarities to scandium and yttrium, but they also show additional properties characteristic of their partially-filled f-orbitals which are not common to scandium and yttrium. Exclusion of all elements is based on properties of earlier actinides, which show a much wider variety of chemistry (for instance, in range of oxidation states) within their series than the lanthanides, and comparisons to scandium and yttrium are even less useful. However, these elements are destabilized, and if they were stabilized to match chemistry laws closer, they would be similar to lanthanides as well, and this does not correspond to the utmost elements of the series. (Group borders) FREYWA 03:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)


  • Lanthanum continues the trend started by two lighter members in general chemical behavior, while lutetium behaves more similar to yttrium; /// the trend for period 6 transition metals to behave more similar to its higher periodic table neighbor is also seen in lutetium immediate neighbors, /// from hafnium, which is almost identical chemically to zirconium, to mercury, which is quite distant from cadmium but still share with it almost equal atomic size and some similar properties. This passage is messed up. /// indicates where I want a sentence break to be.
  • History
    • Mendeleev made several predictions on yttrium upper neighbor, which he called eka-boron. Can this be reworded?
    • The missing element was discovered by Swedish chemist Lars Fredrik Nilson and his team, detected the element in the minerals euxenite and gadolinite and prepared 2 grams of scandium(III) oxide of high purity. No repeated words of the same meaning.
    • Nuclide 257103 was originally reported, but then this was reassigned to 258103. Where is the article?
    • The calculated electronic and filling the 5g-subshell should be stopped at element 138. Unclear.
  • Characteristics
    • Chemical
      • Like other groups, the members of this family show patterns in its electron configuration, especially the outermost shells resulting in trends in chemical behavior. However, lawrencium is an exception, since its last electron is transferred to 7p1/2 level due to relativistic effects. Wrong tense, no comma, should be the 7p1/2 shell.
      • The remaining elements of the group (scandium, yttrium, lutetium) are quite reactive metals with high melting points (1541 °C, 1526 °C, 1652 °C), usually oxidized to +3 oxidation state, even through scandium and yttrium can form lower oxidation states (as well as lanthanum). I facepalm when I see this. The "quite" is puffery, the second issue is vague, the third should be consistent with the previous text.
  • Group borders
    • There is a dispute whether lanthanum and actinium or lutetium and lawrencium should be included into group 3. Other d-block group are composed of four transition metals, and group 3 sometimes is considered to be as well. First one should be "in", second should be "is sometimes".
  • Occurence
    • Scandium, yttrium, and lutetium the tend to occur together with other lanthanides (except promethium) tend to occur together in the Earth's crust, and are often harder to extract from their ores. Remove!
    • The abundance of elements in Earth's crust for group 3 is quite low — all elements in group are uncommon, the most abundant being yttrium, with abundance of approximately 30 ppm. Abundance of scandium is 16 ppm, while that of lutetium is about 0.5 ppm. Add an indefinite article and remove a comma for that. Then, merge the sentences.
  • Production
    • Lutetium and scandium, both mostly produced in the form of oxides, rate at about 10 and 2 tonnes per year, respectively. Out of annual 2 tonnes of scandium, only 400 kg is mined during the year, while the rest is from stockpiles of Russia generated during the Cold War. Could you make this clearer?
  • Biological chemistry
    • No group 3 has any documented biological role in living organisms.[clarification needed]
    • Lutetium has no biological role as well, but it is found in even in the highest known organism, the humans, concentrating in bones, and to a lesser extend in the liver and kidneys. Redundant word and spelling error.
    • Lutetium salts are known to cause metabolism and they occur together with other lanthanide salts, similarly to the nature; the element is the least abundant in the human body of all lanthanides. Huh?
    • Human diets have not been monitored for lutetium content, so it is not known how much does human take in, but the estimations show the amount is about only several micrograms per year, all come from tiny amounts taken by plants. Reversed words. And then... FREYWA 09:27, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Group borders[edit] may be useful in expanding the "Group borders" section. Double sharp (talk) 12:51, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Laurence Lavelle says doi:10.1021/ed085p1482 that this article is old and not good and that it is the other way round.--Stone (talk) 15:04, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Jensen's reply is also online. Double sharp (talk) 14:30, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I am very sure that I read the criticism article before. Of course, I'm a -Lu-Lr proponent and never concealed it, but it (just like the original 1972 article author) found it overly aggressive and not mentioning some important facts. (I definitely read SUCH AN article, and it is very similar to what I read, and also was from the later times (after 2005), and the topic isn't very hot in the literature, but just in case give a 95% probability, because, in theory, it could something else) I'm not a source, but I can give one: it is hidden on the promethium talkpage, under the section with other sources bumped there. (Describes a "2010 rare earth crisis," gives opinions and comments.) Quite interesting to read at all, not just classification section. Yours, R8R Gtrs (talk) 20:49, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 23:29, 22 January 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

– This is the Periodic table of chemical elements.
As for physics, there is no reason to make a construct like "group 11 element": the name is flat out "group 11", which contains several "elements" (one says: "cupper is a group 11 element"). The same is valid for the periods. IUPAC's Red Book (2005) (p. 51=p. 63/pdf) uses this construct too. Current naming here looks like coming from imprecizeness, not from explicit convention.
In grammar this is regular English, and it is used so.
For WP:TITLE, they are common not proper names, so no uppercase is used (of course wiki will create the 1st uppercase in the page title). The proposed names seem to go nicely with all WP:NAMINGCRITERIA without conflict. One exception is disambiguation: since the "group 1"-pattern names almost all are ambiguous (not 10 and 11), we disambiguate them with the common "(periodic table)" addition (all for convenience). The "period 1"-likes are not ambiguous, so don't need aan addition. DePiep (talk) 21:01, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Notes: Technically the existing new period pages need a swap, since they are used as a Redirect. 2. An earlier premature discussion was started at WT:ELEMENT (archive13). -DePiep (talk) 21:01, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose as unhelpful to readers (see the core policy imperative at WP:TITLE). For true naturalness, true consistency, most helpful but uncluttered precision, I propose this pattern:
An elegant solution. That is perfectly understandable to readers. There can be no incidental ambiguities, and the titles are predictable and short. A group in the periodic table is for all practical purposes ontologically identical with its members; and so is a period. The policy provision against plurals is here very naturally overridden, just as it is for Moons of Jupiter.
NoeticaTea? 23:42, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Comment: Groups 1, 2, 13–18 are not included in this proposal, whatever pattern name we would agree upon. If you want to rename or move them, please start an extra talk here (subthread?) and notify these pages (by WP:RM bot).
The reason they are not included: they have a accepted, well-used UIPAC names (like chalcogen for, eh, group 16 element). It is not up to wp to use self-constructed names (titles) when a correct formal name is around. Of course Redirects are not targeted in this proposal. May I suggest you remove them from your list here, Noetica? -DePiep (talk) 08:38, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps boron group and carbon group should be renamed to the "group X" names, as they don't have IUPAC-approved trivial names, unlike the other main groups. Double sharp (talk) 12:59, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Again, their move to any "group X" name is not discussed here. Here we want to decide on which pattern name we will use, for content articles (and redirects don't matter). -DePiep (talk) 13:08, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Question: Elegant it is, too ;-), and it ticks some wp:title policy aims you mention, though you did not mention the short, recognizable ones. Also you do not compare group 3 elements with group 3 on the same grid. So, how would the proposal names fit the wp:title aims & policies, and maybe even better? As for the plural: title moons of Jupiter exists because there is no set name for it. (Had Galileo said: boy that looks like Jupiters pool table, it could have stuck and be used today: an accepted singular set name. Like Silicon valley).
I repeat my question: how do the proposed shorter names come out in the same check? -DePiep (talk) 13:25, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry DP, I can't check everything all the time. Feel free to give notification of a question at an editor's talkpage, right? To answer: I think that my proposal fits very well with the requirements of policy and guidelines, and that the consistency it imposes would be a net benefit to most readers. And to most editors, incidentally. I include the groups that so far have particular names. For example, Alkali metal could become a redirect to Group 1 elements, neatly reversing the present arrangement. Anyone looking for "Alkali metal" can still find the article. Like Volatile metals at present: it redirects to Group 12 element. Anyway, I don't want to continue detailing alternatives here. I oppose the present suggestion, and it is sufficient that I give my reasons. I have done that, and at least shown that further work might be needed to determine the optimal arrangement for all of these articles. That work should be outside of an RM discussion; and at a general project page, not at a very specific article talkpage. NoeticaTea? 00:26, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
You did not answer the question: why would your proposal Group 3 elements trump my proposal Group 3 on the very same check and scale?
The rest of your answer shows, sigh, that you did not even read the previous "comment" reply to your own(!) first post here. And no, the discussion is here, so you are welcome to follow it here. -DePiep (talk) 16:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
DePiep, I have opposed; and I have said why. I have shown an alternative arrangement that I prefer, and I would like to see it discussed. But not now, while there is an RM discussion for an arrangement that I do not support. Now, rather than turning uncivil please put into one succinct paragraph the precise, self-contained questions that you want me to answer. Be specific, and try to avoid ambiguities. I will watch here for that paragraph; or if you prefer, you may post your questions at my talkpage. ☺ NoeticaTea? 08:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for this opportunity, and rereading myself indeed I checking my civility is needed. If I cannot phrase it clear and precise enough, indeed I cannot expect you to spend time on it. Unclearness might be caused by my limited command of English (but uncivility is not). Here is my question.
The topic: the question is about the naming pattern for both group X and period X, as both the RM proposal and your proposal cover. It is not about renaming existing named groups like Alkali metal into a pattern. And it is not about adding "(periodic table)"; which is just an extra, needed, Wikipedia disambiguation addition. And we can use Group 3 element as example page, since the rest follows the pattern as we both understand.
For current name Group 3 element you propose pattern Group 3 elements and give weighted arguments on its suitability. I proposed Group 3 for the same page. My question is: if you contemplate (or weigh, or check) my proposal Group 3 against the same guidelines and values, how would it end up? Or, why does it fail such a same check? -DePiep (talk) 18:34, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose "period #" (especially 1,2,3) are frequently used in the sport of ice hockey -- (talk) 05:24, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
When such a page is created, in the future, is will be disambiguated (differentiated) by adding a word, e.g. period 1 (ice hockey). As a page about that topic does not exist today, we don't have to take care of this. (In other words, the problem you mention can be solved if and when it arrives in the future). -DePiep (talk) 08:26, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Period 1", "Period 2", etc. are too vague and "Group 3 Element", "Group 4 Element", etc. seems pretty clear to me without having to clarify "(periodic table)". King Jakob C 23:00, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
King jakob c, you work in WP:ELEMENTS. How is "Period 1" vague?
This is the current opening for Group 3 element: "The group 3 elements are a group of chemical elements in the periodic table. This group ...". (note the plural). Quite an acrobatic description for group 3, not pretty clear for a reader I'd say. And unnecessary so.
I maintain: "period 1" and "group 3" etc. are commmon names that stand for themselves and are wel defined in chemistry. They fit within plain English grammar. The addition "(periodic table)", as explained above, is only needed here for disambiguation from other, unrelated wikipedia pages. Within chemistry, any such specification is neither needed nor used. 03:48, 21 January 2013 (UTC) (sign added laterw w. correct time)
Just to name an example, "period 1" and "period 2" have a meaning in genetics, not to mention ice hockey, judging by 76.65...'s comment above. Also, as per User: YBG (below), uniformity in the terms is better for readers.
King Jakob C 18:53, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
That is why we add the dab-tag: Period 1 (periodic table). As we already have done for MercuryMercury (element). WP does not require the chemistry world to change an existing, well-used name like "Group 3" because it is already in use somewhere else. That would be the other way around. The name is "group 3", we should follow the UIPAC name. -DePiep (talk) 19:01, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although I cannot cite a specific WP policy, I would like to maintain parallelism between how the period-related articles and the group-related articles. YBG (talk) 14:01, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course you cannot find that WP-policy. Because it does not exist. Policy is: name it as the common name is. Say: Group 3. If it is confusing: diasmbiguate. But there is no reason to change the factual name. -DePiep (talk) 23:42, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Ouch!!! I didn't mean to imply that there was a WP policy, only that I couldn't cite one; I didn't claim that there was one or that there wasn't one. I merely stated that "I would like to maintain parallelism". YBG (talk) 05:20, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I find it hard to discuss about personal preferences. It's just that a high school student who has to research the periodic table does not find an article "group 3" on the English wikipedia. -DePiep (talk) 14:21, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Neutral I wouldn't mind either way. Double sharp (talk) 14:25, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


There should be a mention that group 3 (even Sc and Y) is not always classified with the transition metals, just like we have on group 12. Double sharp (talk) 02:24, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Anyone who doesn't classify group 3 elements as transition metals has a beef with IUPAC Redbook IR 3-5
"the letters s, p, d and f may be used to distinguish different blocks of elements. For example, the elements of groups 3–12 are the d-block elements. These elements are also commonly referred to as the transition elements,though the elements of group 12 are not always included; the f-block elements are sometimes referred to as the inner transition elements."
Let them settle their issue with IUPAC first, and then Wikipedia can reflect the change. Flying Jazz (talk) 15:22, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I am of the opinion that this classification, while not common worldwide, is notable enough to be reflected on Wikipedia, i.e. there should be a mention that not all agree to classifying Sc and Y as transition metals. E.g.: Rayner-Canham's Descriptive inorganic chemistry (4th ed.), pp.484–5. Even when authors don't use this definition (e.g. Greenwood) they sometimes admit that there are good arguments for it. At the very least it should be noted that these are atypical transition metals. Double sharp (talk) 08:23, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't this change Lu and Lr from Ln/An into Tms then, by IUPAC? -DePiep (talk) 11:02, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
IUPAC is very vague about the composition of group 3, so it may not. They do specifically say however that Lu is a lanthanide and Lr is an actinide. I don't see anything in the Red Book that prohibits you from calling Lu both a lanthanide and a transition metal, though. Double sharp (talk) 12:07, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Major re-write needed[edit]

This article, as it stands, is fundamentally flawed. My reason for saying this is that group 3 can be defined in a variety of ways. In this situation it is not for Wikipedians to take sides and support one definition or another. Rather, the cases for all options should be put with arguments (and citations) both for and against each definition. Here are 3 options

  1. Sc, Y, La, Ac This is the most common classification
  2. Sc, Y, Lu, (Lr) Not in common use, but there are sound arguments for it
  3. B, Al, Sc,Y, … Logical, but why are B and Al usually placed in group 13?

At the core of the classification problem is the existence of facts that support more than one group definition. The arguments are actually quite subtle. They involve factors like atomic number, electronic configuration in various oxidation states and atomic/ionic/covalent radii that determine chemical properties. For instance the size change from Al to Sc is similar to the size change from Al to Ga. The latter is a result of the “transition metal contraction” a similar effect to the better-known lanthanide contraction, which is behind the similarity of Y to Lu. This is a reason for putting Al in group 13 along with Ga. On the other hand, the differences B / Al are comparable to Be / Mg, and favour putting Al in group 3. Then there are other issues, like the diagonal relationship Be - Al.

My suggestion is to split the article into separate sections with definition 1, definition 2 and. definition 3 (other definitions). Petergans (talk) 20:48, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

A discussion about one of these options is currently at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elements#A To show the group 3 elements as comprising Sc-Y-Lu-Lr, with backgrounds. -DePiep (talk) 09:01, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
You are missing the point. It's not a matter of how group 3 is defined. In this article all definitions are acceptable, indeed 1 and 2 are both already included. But, each definition should be treated on its own merits, in separate sections rather than being mixed up together as they are at present, which makes for difficult reading. What is missing from this article is context - why different definitions have been proposed. Putting the different definitions in separate sections will allow that to be made clear. Petergans (talk) 11:30, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I think I got the point. I was just linking to a discussion elsewhere, to prevent having to re-argue this all over, including references. This is only supportive for the proposal, and elsewhere I have argued along the same line (namely, that this article should describe all or most sensible variants). -DePiep (talk) 13:24, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Discussions about group 3 belong here, not on the elements pages. Petergans (talk) 09:15, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I actually like Petergans' idea here. Please allow me to think about it how it would be done for a while before I start rewriting this article according to your suggestion. Double sharp (talk) 12:11, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I don't want to tackle this myself as I'm not familiar with the relevant publications. Incidentally, suggestion 3 is not facetious. There needs to be an explanation as to why it is not usually adopted, even though there is a strong case in terms of electronic structure for it.(See Deming's 18-column table) I suspect it has to do with the fact that C, Si "cannot" be put in group 4 along with transition metals Ti, Zr, Hf, but I can't suggest a citation to back this up. Petergans (talk) 10:35, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
The electronegativity table] used by Linus Pauling (The Nature of the Chemical Bond, 1960, 3rd. edn. p93) also shows this grouping. Another one, with citation position of aluminium Petergans (talk) 13:52, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) re Petergans. If you read any opposition in my writings here, please read again for it could be different.
If you mean "the elements pages" being those like talk:scandium, you are right (and I did not suggest that either). If you mean to say "group 3" is an isolated topic and has no relation to other element groups nor the periodic table it is defined in, you might be wrong. And anyway, there still already are arguments at WT:ELEM. -DePiep (talk) 12:23, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Whatever the forum, you could proceed with edits or edit proposals. Depending on the development route you prefer as initiator, you could use Petergans/sandbox, Talk:Group 3 element/sandbox, or Group 3 element. -DePiep (talk) 12:23, 1 February 2014 (UTC) Please check me out. Petergans (talk) 10:35, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Another thought. This article should be about the group as a whole. Things like occurrence, production, applications etc. relating to single elements don't really belong here. Perhaps there could be instead a brief section with links to places where all those things are discussed in detail. It could even be a simple table like this.

Def. 1 Def 2 Def 3 Group 13
Al Al
Sc Sc Sc Ga
Y Y Y In
La Lu La Tl
Ac Lr Ac 113?
Oh yes! I've been thinking about this for a while. For one, it would make me not have the need to finish polishing up most of the remaining sections of Alkali metal. (At least in group 1 the elements are more homogeneous and therefore you can talk about the group as a whole in relation to occurrence, productions, applications more easily: in most groups it's not that easy.) Double sharp (talk) 11:50, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Updated External Link[edit]

I have updated the external link to the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks resource and added the wiki link to Charles James (chemist). I am the program coordinator of the ACS-NHCL program.KLindblom (talk) 22:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

IUPAC committee decides that the organization of the periodic table isn't their business[edit]

After some idle googling, I came across the IUPAC's Division VIII (Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation) minutes from their August 2013 committee meeting in Istanbul. This is copied from page 11, section 15.3.2 at :

15.3.2. Discussion about Group 3 in the Periodic Table
This item arose from the ‘Up for Discussion’ article by Eric Scerri entitled ‘Mendeleev’s Periodic Table is finally completed and what to do about Group 3?’ in Chem. Int. 34(4), 28–31 (2012) (see In his article Scerri presents an argument that he believes renders the newly proposed grouping of Sc, Y, Lu and Lr rather compelling, suggesting that any reluctance to accept this grouping as opposed to the more frequently seen grouping of Sc, Y, La and Ac for the Group 3 elements stems entirely from a reluctance to display the periodic table in a 32-column format. He furthermore proposes that IUPAC should take a stance on the membership of particular groups even if this has not been the practice up to this point. After some discussion it was clear that the committee was of the opinion that organization of the Periodic Table was not the business of the Division nor, indeed, of IUPAC.

This was the right no-decision for them to make in my view. The previous section of their minutes: 15.3.1. Possible actions regarding Wikipedia is also an amusing read concluding in another spot-on no-decision. Flying Jazz (talk) 21:08, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

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Group 3 RfC[edit]

An RfC on the composition of group 3 is still open at Template talk:Periodic table#RFC: Should this table follow the IUPAC version for lanthanides, and actinides?. -DePiep (talk) 05:41, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


Difficult IP editor added "On Wikipedia, Group 3 contains Sc, Y, La, and Ac."

Wikipedia, in most instances, does not refer to itself. I do not know whether the IP was trying to be constructive or returning to their trolling and vandalism. It doesn't much matter.

Double sharp has since added some material to the IP's material. With that sourced addition, I am unable to resolve the problem created by the IP's edit. Hopefully you can fix this, DS. - SummerPhDv2.0 13:46, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

@SummerPhDv2.0: I think this may be one of a very few places where self-reference on Wikipedia may be appropriate; at the very least, it doesn't seem totally clear to me that it should be removed. The problem is that both the -La-Ac and the -Lu-Lr proponents have good arguments, which is why the debate has gone on through most of the 20th century and now has gone into the 21st), so it is vaguely POV-ish to take a side. But we have to, because we can't show Sc and Y in two different places on every one of our periodic tables: the compromise would create a solution that no one uses, and we can't even win by showing -*-** because that is going to be deprecated by IUPAC and is itself another side. So we decided after an RFC at Template talk:Periodic table#RFC: Should this table follow the IUPAC version for lanthanides, and actinides? that we should use the -La-Ac format as default, while presenting the other one whenever the group 3 issue was directly relevant (hence why this article discusses La, Ac, Lu, and Lr), because it is the most common in the literature. But that is still an arbitrary decision, even if it is a necessary one, so calling it out and justifying it makes some sense in this article. So, I was (and still am) undecided enough about it that I decided to let the IP's text stand. If a consensus develops that it should be removed, I would have no problem with that. Double sharp (talk) 14:30, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia's decision on how to present any debatable material is, in all likelihood, not noteworthy.
If we have an actress with a disputed birth date, we will either: 1) present both dates (with sources) or 2) present one date with a note saying "some sources use...", possibly with some explanation that sources citing her birth certificate gave one date or 3) present one date with little or no reference to the minority viewpoint. We do not say, "Wikipedia uses July 7, 1963."
If we have a disputed historical event, we attribute the consensus, with alternate theories presented as side notes of varying seriousness. We do not say that Wikipedia accepts that NASA landed people on the Moon or that Wikipedia uses the idea that the twin towers were destroyed by terrorists hijacking airplanes.
If we are using the option used by the IUPAC, we should simply state that the material is shown in the format used by the IUPAC.
The rare exception would be when Wikipedia's presentation of material has itself been the subject of coverage in reliable sources. The current text invites the question of why we do not have sections saying "In Encyclopedia Britanica, group 3..." or "In Science, group 3..." or hundreds of others. - SummerPhDv2.0 14:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, given that, I've turned it into a general statement about the popularity of the formats. Double sharp (talk) 04:44, 15 February 2017 (UTC)