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The Reactivity of Metals

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Yr.10 Investigation - The Reactivity of Metals Planning: Aim: to put these 5 metals in the order of reactivity. * Iron * Copper * Magnesium * Lead * Zinc Scientific Information: A displacement reaction is where a more reactive element reacts with a compound and pushes out a less reactive element. E.g. magnesium will react with iron sulphate to push the iron out and form magnesium sulphate. I have carried out preliminary experiments and they have shown me that the reactivity of metals and elements can be deciphered from the table of elements, this will tell you how the reactive a metal or element is by simply looking what group it is in and in which period. The reactivity series starts with the most reactive metal potassium and ends in the least reactive platinum, the reactivity of elements depends on how many electrons it has on the outer shell and also how close the outer shell of the element is to the nucleus. In the experiment that we will be carrying out we can decide how reactive a metal is by representing the energy exchange on a energy exchange graph the equation to work out energy exchange is as follows: Q=MC?T this information from here can be shown on a energy exchange graph: When the graph has been drawn you can see that the element that uses more energy is more reactive. ...read more.


Magnesium must be weighed to 0.24g, Copper to 0.64g, Lead to 2.07g, Zinc to 0.65g and Iron to 0.56g. Measure out 10cm3 of copper sulphate solution and place into a test tube after this record the temperature of the copper sulphate solution and record onto your results table. Then place the metal that you are testing into a test tube filled with 10cm3 of copper sulphate solution. Record the end temperature of the reaction (the highest temperature that the reaction reaches) and mark this onto your table. Repeat for all metals except for copper sulphate, as there will be no reaction as there is nothing to displace. Hypothesis I believe the metals would react in the following order of reactivity * Copper * Lead * Iron * Zinc * Magnesium I believe this because my preliminary experiment on displacement reactions gave me these results even though the solutions used are different they still give me an indication of which order the metals may react in. The preliminary experiment showed me that magnesium displaced every solution it was placed in except for its own. This is due to the amount of electrons that magnesium has on its outer shell and how close the outer shell is to the nucleus of the element. ...read more.


It also depends on how close the outer shell is to the nucleus of the particular metal. Evaluation Experiment faults: The main things that could have affected the experiment could be contamination of the test tubes if they had not been cleaned properly and could have other metals inside them this would of interfered with the results. The temperature at which the copper sulphate solution was, for example; while the experiment was being carried out we ran out of copper sulphate so the technicians had to make some more, the copper sulphate solution that replaced the other one could have been made up of different amounts of copper and also the temperature changed because it had only jus been made. Another experiment fault could have been if the solution were accidentally mixed this would have affected the rate of reaction. If different scales were used when weighing the metals this could affect the experiment as they could be of different sensitivities. Experimental error: I believe that I did not perform big experimental errors as our results followed my prediction and my preliminary experiments results. The error I believed that I carried out was: the accidental stirring of the metal in the solution of copper sulphate. 1 ...read more.

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