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The MOST REACTIVE metals in the PToE have to be kept in paraffin oil or kerosene to avoid them from reacting

g with oxygen and water in the air. Exist as SOLID state at room temperature

Soft metals can be cut with knife

Low densities Low melting points Silvery and shiny surfaces Good conductors of heat and electricity

Lithium Sodium Potassium Rubidium

Atomic size INCREASES

Melting point and boiling point DECREASE

Density INCREASES Electropositivity (the tendency to form +ve ion) INCREASES


Atomic size increases because the number of occupied electron shells increases

MP & BP decrease because the distance between the nucleus and the outermost electron shell increases, metallic bonds between atoms become weaker.
Density increases because of the increase in relative atomic mass density of Li, Na and K are lower than water, thus the elements can float on water.

Electropositivity increases because when the atomic size increases, atomic radius also increases, force of attraction between the nucleus and the single valence electron becomes weaker . Hence, the tendency to lose the single valence electron and to form +ve ion increases.

Elements in G1 have 1 valence electron and tend to lose or donate that electron in order to achieve stable duplet/octet configuration. Since all elements in G1 have one valence electron, they have similar chemical properties but differ in REACTIVITY. As we go down the group, the REACTIVITY of alkali metals INCREASES. WHY???

1) Alkali metal + water alkaline metal hydroxide solution + hydrogen gas

By using a forcep, a piece of alkali metal is placed on the water surface in a basin The observation is recorded

The solution formed in the basin is tested with red litmus paper

2Li + 2H2O 2LiOH + H2

Li metal floats on water, fizzes and reacts quickly. The solution formed turns red litmus paper blue.

2Na + 2H2O 2NaOH + H2

Na metal floats, darts about the water and burns with a yellow flame. The solution formed turns red litmus paper blue.

2K + 2H2O 2KOH + H2
K metal floats on water and reacts violently (explodes) The solution turns red litmus paper blue

2) Alkali metal + oxygen gas solid metal oxide Solid metal oxide + water alkaline metal hydroxide
The alkali metal is heated in a deflagrating spoon until it starts to burn and then put into a gas jar containing oxygen gas The observation is recorded

When the reaction stops, 5 ml of distilled water is poured into the gas jar and the solution formed is tested with red litmus paper.




Burns with a red 4Li + O2 2Li2O Lithium, Li flame. Red litmus Li2O + H2O LiOH paper turns blue. Burns with a bright 4Na + O2 2Na2O yellow flame. Red Na2O + H2O Sodium, Na litmus paper turns NaOH blue. Burns with a lilac 4K + O2 2K2O Potassium, K flame. Red litmus K2O + H2O KOH paper turns blue CONCLUSION: Alkali metals burn in oxygen to produce white metal oxide which then dissolve in water to form alkaline metal hydroxide solutions. The presence of hydroxide ions, OH- causes the solution to be alkaline and turns red litmus paper blue.

3) Alkali metal + Chlorine/Bromine gas metal chloride (white solid)

Elements Lithium, Li Sodium, Na Observation Burns with a bright flame Burns with a bright flame Reaction 2Li + Cl2 2LiCl 2Na + Cl2 2NaCl

Burns violently 2K + Cl2 2KCl Potassium, K with a bright flame CONCLUSION: Alkali metals react with chlorine/bromine gas to form metal chloride which is white in colour.

Reactions with chlorine gas

See TB pg 66 Its time to do your own research!