Systematics and the Properties of the Lanthanides
Science is not a mere collection of facts. It is the correlation of facts, the interpretative synthesis of the available knowledge and its application that excite the imagination of a scientist. Even in these days of modern technology, the need for quick and accurate dissemination of new information and current concepts still exists. Conferences and Symposia offer one direct method of communication. The Summer Schools are another approach. The success of a Summer School is mainly due to that human factor and under standing that goes with it and allows for extensive and often time-unrestricted discussions. During the course of the past 20 years, one of the most in tensively studied groups of elements in the Periodic Table is the Lanthanides. In this period, we have increased our knowledge on these once exotic elements, which were once considered to be a part of a lean and hungry industry, many-fold due to the involve ment of scientists from various disciplines. The purpose of our Summer School was to bring a group of ex perts and participants together for the exchange of ideas and in formation in an informal setting and to promote interdisciplinary interactions. Out of many conceivable topics, we selected the following five as the main basis to broaden our knowledge and understanding I) Systematics 2) Structure 3) Electronic and Magnetic Proper ties 4) Spectroscopic Properties and 5) Lanthanide Geochemistry.