Chemistry Unit 1

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Group 1- The Alkali Metals

  • Silvery solids
  • Their hydroxides dissolve in water to give an alkaline solution.

 As you go down the group the metals become:

1) Bigger- there is one extra full shell of electrons for each row you go down.

2) More reactive- the outer electron is further away from the nucleus so is more easily lost.

3) Higher density- the atoms have more mass, the three at the top (lithium, sodium and potassium) are less dense then water.

4) Lower melting and boiling point.


  • The metals are very reactive, have to be stored in oil and handled with forceps
  • They have 1 outer shell electron which makes them very reactive, and gives them all the similar properties.
  • They are keen to lose that one outer shell electron and form a 1+ ion.
  • Always form ionic compounds.

Reaction with Water

  • When lithium, sodium and potassium are put in water they react very vigourously.
  • Move around the surface, fizzing.
  • Produce hydrogen, potassium…


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