46 Facts About Alkali metals


Alkali metals consist of the chemical elements lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium, and francium .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,421

All alkali metals have their outermost electron in an s-orbital: this shared electron configuration results in their having very similar characteristic properties.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,422

Indeed, the alkali metals provide the best example of group trends in properties in the periodic table, with elements exhibiting well-characterised homologous behaviour.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,423

Alkali metals are all shiny, soft, highly reactive metals at standard temperature and pressure and readily lose their outermost electron to form cations with charge +1.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,424

All the alkali metals react with water, with the heavier alkali metals reacting more vigorously than the lighter ones.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,425

Related searches

Sodium Solar System

All of the discovered alkali metals occur in nature as their compounds: in order of abundance, sodium is the most abundant, followed by potassium, lithium, rubidium, caesium, and finally francium, which is very rare due to its extremely high radioactivity; francium occurs only in minute traces in nature as an intermediate step in some obscure side branches of the natural decay chains.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,426

Sodium, potassium and lithium are essential elements, having major biological roles as electrolytes, and although the other alkali metals are not essential, they have various effects on the body, both beneficial and harmful.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,427

Alkali metals's version put all the alkali metals then known, as well as copper, silver, and thallium, together into a group.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,428

All the alkali metals have odd atomic numbers and they are not as common as the elements with even atomic numbers adjacent to them in the Solar System.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,429

The heavier alkali metals are less abundant than the lighter ones as the alkali metals from rubidium onward can only be synthesised in supernovae and not in stellar nucleosynthesis.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,430

Physical and chemical properties of the alkali metals can be readily explained by their having an ns valence electron configuration, which results in weak metallic bonding.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,431

The ns configuration results in the alkali metals having very large atomic and ionic radii, as well as very high thermal and electrical conductivity.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,432

Alkali metals are more similar to each other than the elements in any other group are to each other.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,433

For instance, when moving down the table, all known alkali metals show increasing atomic radius, decreasing electronegativity, increasing reactivity, and decreasing melting and boiling points as well as heats of fusion and vaporisation.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,434

Stable alkali metals are all silver-coloured metals except for caesium, which has a pale golden tint: it is one of only three metals that are clearly coloured .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,435

All the alkali metals are highly reactive and are never found in elemental forms in nature.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,436

The alkali metals react with water to form strongly alkaline hydroxides and thus should be handled with great care.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,437

The heavier alkali metals react more vigorously than the lighter ones; for example, when dropped into water, caesium produces a larger explosion than potassium if the same number of moles of each metal is used.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,438

The alkali metals have the lowest first ionisation energies in their respective periods of the periodic table because of their low effective nuclear charge and the ability to attain a noble gas configuration by losing just one electron.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,439

Not only do the alkali metals react with water, but with proton donors like alcohols and phenols, gaseous ammonia, and alkynes, the last demonstrating the phenomenal degree of their reactivity.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,440

Second ionisation energy of all of the alkali metals is very high as it is in a full shell that is closer to the nucleus; thus, they almost always lose a single electron, forming cations.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,441

All the alkali metals have odd atomic numbers; hence, their isotopes must be either odd–odd or odd–even .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,442

Alkali metals are more similar to each other than the elements in any other group are to each other.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,443

For instance, when moving down the table, all known alkali metals show increasing atomic radius, decreasing electronegativity, increasing reactivity, and decreasing melting and boiling points as well as heats of fusion and vaporisation.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,444

Since the outermost electron of alkali metals always feels the same effective nuclear charge, the only factor which affects the first ionisation energy is the distance from the outermost electron to the nucleus.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,445

Related searches

Sodium Solar System

Second ionisation energy of the alkali metals is much higher than the first as the second-most loosely held electron is part of a fully filled electron shell and is thus difficult to remove.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,446

Therefore, the falling melting and boiling points of the alkali metals indicate that the strength of the metallic bonds of the alkali metals decreases down the group.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,447

Alkali metals all have the same crystal structure and thus the only relevant factors are the number of atoms that can fit into a certain volume and the mass of one of the atoms, since density is defined as mass per unit volume.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,448

All the alkali metals react vigorously or explosively with cold water, producing an aqueous solution of a strongly basic alkali metal hydroxide and releasing hydrogen gas.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,449

The alkali metal borides tend to be boron-rich, involving appreciable boron–boron bonding involving deltahedral structures, and are thermally unstable due to the alkali metals having a very high vapour pressure at elevated temperatures.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,450

The lattice energy is maximised with small, highly charged ions; the alkali metals do not form highly charged ions, only forming ions with a charge of +1, so only lithium, the smallest alkali metal, can release enough lattice energy to make the reaction with nitrogen exothermic, forming lithium nitride.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,451

All the alkali metals react readily with phosphorus and arsenic to form phosphides and arsenides with the formula M3Pn .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,452

All the alkali metals react vigorously with oxygen at standard conditions.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,453

Smaller alkali metals tend to polarise the larger anions due to their small size.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,454

Alkali metals can react analogously with the heavier chalcogens, and all the alkali metal chalcogenides are known .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,455

Alkali metals are among the most electropositive elements on the periodic table and thus tend to bond ionically to the most electronegative elements on the periodic table, the halogens, forming salts known as the alkali metal halides.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,456

Alkali metals react similarly with hydrogen to form ionic alkali metal hydrides, where the hydride anion acts as a pseudohalide: these are often used as reducing agents, producing hydrides, complex metal hydrides, or hydrogen gas.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,457

Organometallic compounds of the higher alkali metals are even more reactive than organosodium compounds and of limited utility.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,458

Similarly, the alkali metals react with cyclooctatetraene in tetrahydrofuran to give alkali metal cyclooctatetraenides; for example, dipotassium cyclooctatetraenide is an important precursor to many metal cyclooctatetraenyl derivatives, such as uranocene.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,459

Alkali metals react with halogen derivatives to generate hydrocarbon via the Wurtz reaction.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,460

Coinage metals were traditionally regarded as a subdivision of the alkali metal group, due to them sharing the characteristic s electron configuration of the alkali metals .

FactSnippet No. 1,099,461

Finally, the alkali metals are at the top of the electrochemical series, whereas the coinage metals are almost at the very bottom.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,462

Production of pure alkali metals is somewhat complicated due to their extreme reactivity with commonly used substances, such as water.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,463

The heavier alkali metals are more typically isolated in a different way, where a reducing agent is used to reduce the alkali metal chloride.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,464

Pure alkali metals are dangerously reactive with air and water and must be kept away from heat, fire, oxidising agents, acids, most organic compounds, halocarbons, plastics, and moisture.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,465

Related searches

Sodium Solar System

The alkali metals must be stored under mineral oil or an inert atmosphere.

FactSnippet No. 1,099,466