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Group 2 The Alkali Earth Metals

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Group 2 The Alkali Earth Metals

 

Alkali Earth

All of the Group 2 elements have two electrons in the outer shell. They are all metals and bond ionically (electrovalently).

When these metals form electrovalent bonds they lose the two electrons 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

These metals have been known as "earths" since ancient times. They were given this name because of their abundance in the Earth's crust. Group 2 metals are never found free in nature since they are too reactive. They often occur as their oxides, which is why they are referred to as the alkaline earths.

Note: Radium is radioactive. It is only found in very small quantities associated with certain minerals, such as uranium oxide or pitchblende.

Since alkali earth metals react in much the same way, the examples given in this tutorial are those of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg).

 

Crystal Structure

Beryllium and Magnesium form Hexagonal Close Packing (HCP) crystals

 

HCP crystals

 

The other alkaline earth metals form Face Centered Cubic (FCC) crystals. There is an atom at each vertex and in the center of each face.

 

Face Centered Cubic (FCC)

 

Atoms and ions

Beryllium atom

Beryllium ion

Beryllium atom

Beryllium ion

Magnesium atom

Magnesium ion

Magnesium atom

Magnesium ion

Calcium atom

Calcium ion

Calcium atom

Calcium ion

Strontium atom

Strontium ion

Strontium atom

Strontium ion

Barium atom

Barium ion

Barium atom

Barium ion

Radium atom

 

Radium atom

 

 

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