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The Alkali and transitional Metals.

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Introduction

The group 1 elements the alkali metals are all highly reactive, losing their one outer electron to form a 1+ ion with non-metals. They have to be stored under oil, or they react with oxygen in the air. They are the most reactive metals. Potassium and sodium are at the top of the reactivity series. They all have the common properties of metals, being silvery-grey in colour, and good conductors of heat and electricity. Their reaction with cold water produces hydrogen gas. When lithium, sodium or potassium are put in water, they react very vigorously, they move around the surface, fizzing furiously. They produce hydrogen gas, potassium gets hot enough to ignite it. A lighted splint will indicate hydrogen. Alkali metals are unusually soft, and can easily be cut with a knife. The first three members, lithium, sodium and potassium, are unique in being the only metals, which are less dense than water (they float). The next three members, rubidium, caesium and francium, are all too reactive or unstable to be used. These three have the same chemical properties as lithium, sodium and potassium. ...read more.

Middle

A man called John Newlands had a go at arranging the elements in a logical order in 1863. He noticed that every 8th element had similar properties and so he listed some of the known elements in rows of 7. These sets of eight were called Newlands octaves but unfortunately the pattern broke down on the third row with many transition metals like Fe, Cu, and Zn ruining the pattern. It was because he left no gaps that his work was ignored. However he was quite close. In 1869 Dmitri Mendeleyev from Russia, with knowledge of approximately 50 known elements, arranged them into his table of elements with various gaps. Mendeleyev ordered the elements in order of atomic mass (like Newlands did). But mendeleyev found he had to leave gaps in order to keep elements with similar properties in the same vertical groups and he was prepared to leave some very big gaps in the first two rows before the transition metals come in on the third row. The gaps were very clever because they predicted the properties of so far undiscovered elements. When they were found they fitted the pattern. ...read more.

Conclusion

helium boils at -260 C and xenon boils at -108 C. All of the Noble gases have full outer shells, that is why they are so inert. Inert means "doesn't react". All of the Noble gases are colourless, monatomic gases, most gases are made up of molecules, but these only exist as individual atoms, because they wont form bonds with anything. The Noble gases don't react with at all. Helium, neon and argon don't form any kin of chemical bonds with anything. They always exist as separate atoms. They won't even join up in pairs. Some uses of Noble gases. Helium is used in airships and balloons, it is ideal as it has a very low density and doesn't set on fire, neon is used in electrical discharge tubes, when a current is passed through neon it gives out a bright light, argon is used in filament lamps, it provides an inert atmosphere which stops the very hot filament from burning away all three of the previous Noble gases are used in lasers, you can also get krypton lasers. Element Symbol Atomic mass Atomic number Electronic configuration Helium He 4 2 2 Neon Ne 20 10 2,8 Argon Ar 40 18 2,8,8 Krypton Kr 84 36 2,8,8,8,8,2 Xenon Xe 131 54 2,8,8,8,8,8,8,4 Radon Rn 222 86 2,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,4 ...read more.

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