Fundamental research on actinide chemistry, physics, and materials science is essential to solve existing problems with actinides in the environment, as well as for developing new and advanced applications in the fields of next-generation nuclear energy, nuclear forensics, and medicine. A primary connection between all of these areas is the central role that actinide 5f electrons play in determining the electronic structure, which in turn directly affects the chemical and physical properties of the actinide species under consideration. There continues to be notable progress in understanding the bonding and ensuing chemical behavior of actinide species in complex systems, largely resulting from significant advances in coupling enhanced theoretical and computational methods with advanced experimental measurements. Furthermore, it has been multidisciplinary scientific collaborations that have yielded some of the most important recent progress in understanding these difficult materials, indicating a need for further discussion and interaction between scientists in these fields.
Actinide materials present exciting challenges and promising opportunities well into the future in multiple topical areas spanning several scientific disciplines that will provide the framework for this symposium. Examples of progress range from clean energy generation via nuclear power, to purely understanding the electronic structures of a range of actinide materials that emerge from the complex interplay between electronic and physical structures involving electron correlation and relativistic effects. However, there are many instances in which shortcomings in the knowledge of actinide materials clearly result in undesirable and difficult situations that, from different and equally compelling perspectives, make it imperative to improve both the fundamental and technological understandings of many aspects of these fascinating and yet troublesome materials. This symposium will bring together a diverse set of scientists tackling actinide science to meet the wide array of challenges presented by actinides and the broader realm of f-electron materials, from the most fundamental studies extending to use-inspired applications. An emerging areas session will be held to highlight the newest directions and trends in actinide science.