You probably think of water as a substance that can put out fires. But some aspects are so reactive that they burn in water. In reality, they essentially explode in water. An instance is shownin the photo listed below. About 3 pounds of sodium were included to water, and also the outcome was an explosive reaction. Why is sodium such a reactive element? In this area, you will certainly discover out.

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Figure (PageIndex1): Sodium reacting with water.

The First Group

Sodium (left( ceNa ight)) is an element in team 1 of the routine table of the aspects. This team (column) of the table is shown listed below. It includes the nonmetal hydrogen (left( ceH ight)) and also six metals referred to as alkali metals. Elements in the same team of the routine table have the exact same number of valence electrons. These are the electrons in the external power level of the atoms that deserve to be connected in slrfc.orgical reactions. Valence electrons determine many type of of the properties of an element, so elements in the very same team have similar properties. All the aspects in group 1 have actually just one valence electron. This renders them extremely reactive.

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Figure (PageIndex2): Group 1 of the regular table.

Reactivity of Group 1 Elements

Hydrogen is a really reenergetic gas, and the alkali metals are also more reenergetic. In fact, they are the a lot of reactive metals and, together with the elements in group 17, are the many reactive of all facets. The retask of alkali steels increases from the optimal to the bottom of the team, so lithium (left( ceLi ight)) is the least reenergetic alkali steel and also francium (left( ceFr ight)) is the a lot of reenergetic. Since alkali steels are so reactive, they are discovered in nature only in combination through other elements. They frequently incorporate via team 17 facets, which are exceptionally "eager" to obtain an electron.


Other Properties of Alkali Metals

Besides being incredibly reactive, alkali metals share a number of other properties:

Alkali metals are all solids at room temperature. Alkali steels are low in density, and some of them float on water. Alkali metals are fairly soft. Some are even soft enough to reduced via a knife, choose the sodium pictured in the number listed below.

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api/deki/files/78133/CK12_Screenshot_6-9-4.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=406&height=238" />Figure (PageIndex4): Hydrogen has actually the smallest, lightest atoms of all facets. Pure hydrogen is a colormuch less, odormuch less, tastemuch less gas that is nontoxic but very flammable. Hydrogen gas exists mainly as diatomic ("two-atom") molecules (left( ceH_2 ight)), as displayed above. Hydrogen is the the majority of abundant aspect in the world and the third many numerous aspect on Planet, and also occurs greatly in compounds such as water.why is francium the most reactive metal