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Group 1 : The Alkali Metals

 

Group 1 metals

All of the Group I elements have one electron in the outer shell. They are all metals and bond ionically (electrovalently).

When these metals form ionic (electrovalent) bonds they lose the one electron in the outer shell. The more shells the atom has, the more reactive it is. This is because the outer electron is more easily lost from the outer shell.

They are called alkali metals because they produce alkalis when they react with water.

The salts of the alkali metals are mostly all soluble in water. The metal elements are far too reactive to occur naturally but they are all found in nature as their various salts.

Since the 6 alkali metals react in much the same way, the examples given in this tutorial are those of sodium (Na).

 

Crystal Structure

All the alkali metals form Body Centered Cubic (BCC) crystals. There is an atom at each vertex and one in the center of the cube.

BCC

 

Atoms and ions

Lithium atom

Lithium ion

Lithium atom

Lithium ion

Sodium atom

Sodium ion

Sodium atom

Sodium ion

Potassium atom

Potassium ion

Potassium atom

Potassium ion

Rubidium atom

Rubidium ion

Rubidium atom

Rubidium ion

Caesium atom

Caesium ion

Caesium atom

Caesium ion

Francium atom

Francium ion

Francium atom

Francium ion

 

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