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Alkali Metal Familyalkali metal family

The Alkali metal family, also referred to Group 1A are all silvery solids with low densities and low melting points. As you move down the column of alkali metals, their reactivity increases. Reactivity is a how easily an element combines wiht other elements.

Who is in the alkali family?

Hydrogen (H), which is found at the top of Group 1A, is not part of the family. It is a unique element and does not belong to any family of the periodic table.

Lithium (Li), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Rubidium (Rb), Cesium (Cs), and Francium (Fr) which are all part of the alkali metal family are very REACTIVE, especially with Group 7A the Halogens. The main reason they are so reactive is that they only have one electron in their last energy level. Also referred to as valence electrons - which means the electrons in the last energy level or shell. This family is also very reactive with water.


Element Facts


Li 6.941

Lithium - is a soft, silver-white metal that is a good conductor of heat and electricity and is highly reactive. Lithium was discoverd by Johan August Arfedson in 1817. Origin of the name is from the Greek word "lithos" meaning "stone", because it was discovered from a mineral source.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com



Na 22.990

Sodium - is a soft, silver-white metal that is soft enough to cut with the edge of a coin. Sodium is less dense than water and also reacts violently with it. See reactivity in this video.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com



K 39.098

Potassium - Potassium is also a silvery-white, low melting metal the is soft enough to be cut with a knife. It tarnishes rapidly in air as forms a dull oxide coating. The name potassium is from the English word "potash", orginally meaning an alkali extracted with water in a pot of ash of burnt wood or tree leaves.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com



Rb 85.468

Rubidium - Rubidium is another soft, silvery-white metallic element. It is a solid at room temperature but will melt easily. As all the elements in this family it is also very explosive when exposed to water. The element name comes fromt he Latin word "rubidius", meaning deepest red.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com



Cs 132.91

Cesium - Cesium is a silvery-gold metal that is very soft and ductile. It is a liquid at room temperature. It is a very reactive element and is extremely explosive when in contact with water. See video below. The origin of the name comes from the Latin word "caesius", meaning sky blue.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com



Fr (223)

Francium - is a heavy, radioactive metal with a half-life of 22 minutes. There is no use for francium due to its rarity. Francium was named after France, and was the last naturally occurring elements found. Every element discovered since have been synthetically produced.

Watch Video @ periodicvideos.com | More information on @ chemicool.com

radioactive symbol


NEXT >> Alkaline Earth Metal Family>>


Related Links

Inside the Atom

Understanding how to make Bohr Models

History of the Periodic Table

Understanding the Periodic Table and it's families



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