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In this lab, six different metals were tested for their reactivity in water. From less reactive to most reactive, the metals were as follows: Aluminum, Magnesium, Calcium, Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium

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Observing a Metal's Reactivity in Water Observations: Metal Reaction in Water Phenolphthalein Aluminum * Sank to bottom * No, or very little gas produced Magnesium * Sank to bottom * No, or very little gas produced Calcium * Temperature raised * A lot of Hydrogen gas was formed * "Milky" substance formed around calcium * Dissolved into white precipitate * smoked Lithium * Hydrogen gas was formed * Li sample moved around on the top of the water * Dissolved * Oil layer was left on the surface * Turned pink/purple * Stayed at top * Hit particles of Li, turned dark pink * Made Li particles sink Sodium * Immediately formed a ball * 'Fizzing" sounds * Formed oil layer on surface * Dissolved * Clouded water * Pink/ purple * Floated on surface Potassium * Violent ...read more.


Aluminum and Magnesium were both the less reactive. Neither of the metals produced hydrogen, or not enough to have a positive test to prove it was there. Metals + H O H + Metal Hydroxide Calcium gave off a large amount of Hydrogen gas. Lighting a splint, placing it in the test tube, and hearing a loud "pop" proved this. When the calcium was placed in the water, it caused the temperature to rise to such a high level it was not possible to hold with bare hands. This could be because the electrons are moving so quickly that it causes the temperature to rise. The calcium formed a white, powder-like precipitate at the bottom of the test tube. ...read more.


This is because the elements in period I, Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium, only have one valence electron, and it is quite simple to lose it. Also, the further down the family, the more the ionization energy decreases because of the shielding effect (the inner electrons block the attraction of the nucleus for outer electrons) and atomic radius (the greater the distance between the nucleus and the outer electron). However, the further to the right of the periodic table, the more the ionization energy increase because of the nuclear charge, electron arrangement ( an electron in a full of a half full energy level requires additional energy to be removed), and atomic radius. This explains why Aluminum was the least reactive, and Potassium was the most reactive. ?? ?? ?? ?? Etran Bouchouar 5/10/2007 ...read more.

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