Alkali Metal Facts
Alkali metals are six chemical elements that form the first group of elements in the periodic table. These six elements are lithium, sodium, potassium rubidium, cesium, and francium. Three elements of this group which are rubidium, cesium, and francium are extremely rare elements. These elements got this name because reaction with water forms alkalies. These metals react with oxygen and produce an oxide, peroxide or superoxide. They can oxidize when exposed to air. These metals also tarnish due to oxidation. It completely depends on which member of this group is involved in the reaction.
Quick Facts: –
- The term alkali has been derived from Arabic that literally means ‘ashes’.
- All the alkali metals are shiny and soft enough to be cut with a knife. They are good conductors of heat and electricity.
- If compared to other elements, these metals have characteristically lower density.
- These metals produce different collared flames when burned.
- Alkali metals have low melting points and are so reactive that they are stored in special solutions and containers to prevent any unintended reaction.
- Cesium can even melt in the palm of your hands.
- Francium is the most reactive element in the entire group.
- All members of this group have a valence electron configuration of s1.
- These metals have the lowest first ionization energies of all the elements. This is the energy which is required to remove an electron from an element.
- Hydrogen is included in the group 1 but it is not an alkali metal.
- Sodium and potassium are two most abundant alkali metals in the earth’s crust. Both of them are also major nutrients.
- Cesium atomic clock is considered the most accurate.