Wed January 09, 2013 By: Sathish

sir, what happens to de reactivity of de alkali metals as v move down de group, whether it increases or decreases ?explain y?

Expert Reply
Wed January 09, 2013
Reactivity of alkali metals increases on going down the group.
  • When an alkali metal atom reacts, it loses its only outer electron to form a singly positively charged ion

    • e.g. Na ==> Na+ + e- (in terms of electrons 2.8.1 ==> 2.8

    • and so forming a stable ion with a noble gas electron arrangement,

  • AND as you go down the group from one element down to the next.. Li .. Na .. K .. Rb .. Cs .. Fr the atomic radius gets bigger due to an extra filled electron shell.

  • The outer electron is further and further from the nucleus and is also shielded by the extra full shell of negative charge, therefore the outer electron is less and less strongly held by the positive nucleus as the attractive force is decreased, and so ....this combination of factors means the outer electron is more easily lost, the M+ ion more easily formed, and so the element is more reactive as you go down the group.

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