You most likely think that water as a substance that deserve to put out fires. Yet some facets are therefore reactive the they burn in water. In fact, they virtually explode in water. An example is shownin the photograph below. Around 3 pounds of sodium were added to water, and the an outcome was an explosive reaction. Why is sodium such a reactive element? In this section, friend will discover out.

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Figure (PageIndex1): sodium reacting v water.

The very first Group

Sodium (left( ceNa ight)) is an facet in group 1 of the periodic table the the elements. This group (column) the the table is displayed below. It consists of the nonmetal hydrogen (left( ceH ight)) and six metals referred to as alkali metals. Aspects in the same team of the periodic table have the same number of valence electrons. These room the electrons in the outer power level that the atoms that have the right to be associated in sdrta.netistry reactions. Valence electrons determine many of the nature of an element, so facets in the same group have similar properties. All the facets in team 1 have actually just one valence electron. This renders them really reactive.

Figure (PageIndex2): group 1 that the periodic table.

Reactivity of group 1 Elements

Hydrogen is a very reactive gas, and also the alkali metals are even more reactive. In fact, they room the most reactive steels and, in addition to the facets in group 17, space the most reactive of all elements. The reactivity the alkali metals rises from the height to the bottom that the group, for this reason lithium (left( ceLi ight)) is the least reactive alkali metal and also francium (left( ceFr ight)) is the most reactive. Due to the fact that alkali steels are therefore reactive, they are uncovered in nature only in combination with various other elements. They often incorporate with team 17 elements, i m sorry are an extremely "eager" to obtain an electron.

Other nature of Alkali Metals

Besides being an extremely reactive, alkali steels share a number of other properties:

Alkali steels are all solids in ~ room temperature. Alkali metals are low in density, and also some of castle float ~ above water. Alkali metals are relatively soft. Part are even soft enough to cut with a knife, prefer the salt pictured in the figure below.

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api/deki/files/78133/CK12_Screenshot_6-9-4.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=406&height=238" />Figure (PageIndex4): Hydrogen has the smallest, lightest atoms of every elements. Pure hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas the is nontoxic but highly flammable. Hydrogen gas exists mostly as diatomic ("two-atom") molecule (left( ceH_2 ight)), as displayed above. Hydrogen is the many abundant element in the universe and also the 3rd most abundant facet on Earth, and also occurs largely in compounds such together water.what are the most reactive elements