Lanthanides Actinides and Other Catagories on the Periodic Chart

Do you want to get an A in chemistry? This wiki page will give you a great start on the rest of the class in your vocabulary and a couple orbital diagrams.

Orbital diagrams (using the shorcut method)
the lanthanide- lutinium, Lu- [Xe] 6s(2) 4f(14)
the actinide- nobelium, No- [Rn] 7s(2) 5f(13)

Let's start off with orphan metals which are metals that are not transition metals, alkaline metals, or alkaline earth metals. The orphan metals are: Aluminum (Al), Gallium(Ga), Indium (In), Tin (Sn), Thallium (Tl), Lead (Pb), and Bismuth (Bi). All of the orphan metals are in the nitrogen group, carbon group, and the boron group. Some people think that aluminum is a metaloid but it is NOT! Aluminum is a metal and dont let anyone tell you different. Ok so now let's talk about lanthanides and actinides.(Ed. Neil Schlager)
Lanthanides are the fourteen elements following lanthanium and does NOT include lanthanium. The lanthanides are rare earth metals that exibit some properties of lanthanium but again lanthanium is not included. That is why the f-orbitals can only holds fourteen electrons not fifteen electrons. Actinides have about the same discription as lanthanides except all the actinides have some similar properties actinium instead of lanthanium. Because of the actinides position on the periodic table they are obviously denser and heavier than the lanthanides. Also one fun fact about lanthanides and actenides is that they are almost all very unstable and therefore are highly reactive. Uranium is in the actinide group, and as most of us have notice or heard about, uranium can make an absulutly huge explosion in a bomb, but what people might not realize is that all lanthanides and actinides can be made into huge destructive bombs.(Ed. Neil Schlager)
Now that lanthanides and actinides are done I can now go on to the more known parts of the periodic table the alkaline metals, the alkaline earth metals, the metaloids, halogens, noble gases, and other gases. The alkaline metals and the alkaline earth metals are similar but not the same in that the alkaline metals are more reactive then the alkaline earth metals but are not as explosive as the lanthanides and actinides but the alkaline earth metals are still reactive. Also both the alkaline metals and the alkaline earth metals make up the entire s-block. Now time for the metaloids. Metaloids are like a mix of nonmetals and metals in that the metaloids share properties of both in that they can be lustrious or not, and also that the metaloids are semi condutors unlike metals which are full conductors, or nonmetals which do not have little if any conductivity. Halogens are unique in that they are the only group that only needs one more valence electron in order to be stable or "happy". Because of that the halogens generally have the highest electronegativities and attract an electron easier and becomes like a noble gas. And that brings us to our next topic, the noble gases. Noble gases are very unique in many ways in that they are happy just the way they are and do not attract any electrons. Also the noble gases are the only group that are only gases at room temperatue. The last thing to say about noble gases is that they are used in the shortcut method when solving for and orbital diagram because it has a completed p-orbital. Lastly the other gases are basically oxygen and hnitrogen, two of the most depended on elements in the world but are not included in any large group.

In case your wondering where everything is on the periodic table I have attached a link for you to play around with.
interactive periodic table

Ed. Neil Schlager. Vol. 1: Real-Life Chemistry. p140-147. (4472 words) From Gale Virtual Reference Library.