What happens as the atomic number of the alkali metals increases?

What happens as the atomic number of the alkali metals increases?

As the atomic number grows, the valence electron gets further away from, and less strongly attracted to, the nuclear core, increasing the metal's reactivity. For example, lithium is the most reactive of all the alkalis, while potassium is relatively inert.

Also, the outer electrons become more spread out because there are so many of them, which makes the atom more reactive. For example, lithium has a very negative oxidation state - 3 - because it has lost three electrons to form its ion, which is extremely reactive. On the other hand, sodium has a positive oxidation state - 1 - because it has gained one electron compared to its neutral state, which isn't particularly active.

Alkali metals are highly reactive because they have few electrons in their outer shells, allowing any number of electrons to be removed from the nucleus without changing the overall charge. This means that they are good at losing electrons to other substances, which can cause problems for containers used with them. For example, if you were to put a lithium battery into water it would still work but the container would go bad sooner because the lithium would be absorbed by the water.

Lithium is very reactive due to its low atomic number.

What happens when the atomic mass increases?

When the atomic number grows, it signifies that there are more protons and neutrons in an atom, which raises the atomic mass. Although the atomic number is also equal to the number of electrons, electrons are so light that they have no effect on an atom's mass. If you double the number of protons in an atom, its mass will double as well.

Because the mass of an atom is made up of the particles called quarks, this increase in mass would be due to increased numbers of quarks. A quark has a mass that is almost half a billion electron volts (MeV), so even if all the quarks in the atom were doubled in size, their combined mass would be less than one-millionth of an amu (atomic mass unit). Thus, increasing the mass of an element requires that its atoms contain multiple copies of themselves.

For example, hydrogen has one proton and one electron in its nucleus, so its atomic mass is 1.0078576. If we were to add a second proton, its mass would be 2.0156114. And if we added a third proton, its mass would be 3.0234202. This is because elements with greater atomic masses have larger nuclei, which means they can't be reached by adding just single protons; instead, they can only be created by adding multiple protons to helium atoms.

Does the number of electrons increase across a period?

Experiments have revealed that in the first situation, the increase in nuclear charge overcomes the repulsion between the extra electrons in the valence level. As a result, the size of atoms reduces as one advances through a period in the periodic table from left to right. This is called "compression". At the end of the period, you get silicon.

In the second situation, there are not enough electrons in the outer shell to overcome the nucleus' positive charge. So, atoms become larger as one goes from actinium to radon. But they still have a finite size.

Bohr's model of the atom explains both situations using the idea of quantum numbers. It assumes that each electron has a set amount of energy associated with it called an "orbital". This means that there are a certain number of locations where an electron can be found around the nucleus - called "orbitals". These orbitals can only hold a fixed number of electrons, which is what determines the element. For example, helium has 2 electrons in its outer shell, so it can take on two units of orbital energy. Silicon has 14 electrons in its outer shell, so it can hold seven units of orbital energy. Compressing or increasing the mass of an atom does not change the number of electrons in its outer shell, so elements will still be able to store a fixed amount of energy.

What increases as the atomic number increases?

What a fantastic question. Remember that as the atomic number grows, so does the amount of protons in the nucleus. Because of the concentration of positive charge in the centre of an atom, all electrons are drawn closer to the nucleus. This means that as the atomic number grows, so too do the mass and gravity of the element.

As you might expect, elements with greater atomic numbers are more massive and heavier than those with lower numbers. The heaviest naturally occurring element on the earth is uranium with atomic number 92. It is followed by thorium with atomic number 90, then protactinium, radium, astatine, polonium, ibid. , and finally lead with atomic number 82.

You may have noticed that none of these elements is very common. That's because they're very rare in nature and are usually only produced in small quantities for scientific experiments! (Radioactive elements are also used in medicine and technology.)

The only way we can obtain these rare elements is by mining them from rocks. Uranium is found in almost all countries around the world, while the others are much more rare. Only a few elements are essential for our survival; most are toxic if ingested in large amounts. Some examples of metals in use today include iron for tools, nickel for bicycles, copper for electrical wiring, and zinc for food packaging.

What happens when electron shells increase?

In every period, as the number of electrons grows, so does the force of attraction between the positively charged nucleus and the negatively charged electrons, since the nucleus contains the same amount of positively charged protons. As a consequence, the outer shell condensed towards the nucleus, shrinking the atom. The atom then becomes more stable - less likely to give off energy in the form of radiation.

In order for an element to be stable, its atomic number must be a multiple of eight. That is, the number of electrons in its orbitals must be divisible by 8. If it isn't, then some of the electrons will have too much energy, causing them to escape from the atom entirely. They become part of the universe outside of Earth's atmosphere - beyond our sight and control.

Elements with atomic numbers that are not multiples of eight include: boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, argon, calcium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, zinc, hydrogen, helium.

As we know, all matter is made up of atoms. All elements exist in nature as a combination of atoms with different numbers of electrons in their orbital shells. For example, the earth is made up of oxygen, silicon, iron, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, calcium, etc.

What happens when you go down the alkali metals?

Because atoms get bigger as you move down the group, the reactivity of group 1 elements rises. The outer electron moves away from the nucleus. The nucleus's power of attraction with the outer electron weakens. This means that these elements are likely to be oxidized by air or water.

Alkali metals react with water to produce hydrogen and oxygen gas. Sodium reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide (lye). Lye is very reactive and can burn your skin if not handled properly. Potassium reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas and potassium hydroxide (lax). Like sodium hydroxide, lax is also very reactive and can hurt yourself if not used properly.

Group 2: Lithium, beryllium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, calcium, scandium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, zinc, cadmium, ytterbium, erbium, thulium, holmium, lutetium, hafnium, tungsten, rhenium, osmium, iridium, platinum, palladium, antimony, arsenic, zirconium, cerium, lanthanum, actinium, radon, polonium, protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks.

About Article Author

Marian Hargrove

Marian Hargrove is a teacher who has been in the education field for over 10 years. Marian is passionate about helping her students reach their full potential and strives to make learning fun and interesting for all of her pupils. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.


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