chemistry FAQ's

What Is the Reactivity Series?

A chemical that undergoes reactions easily is said to be reactive. The Reactivity Series of metals is a type of chemical league table. It shows the metals in order with the most reactive at the top.

The Reactivity Series is grouped based on whether the metal reacts with oxygen, water and acids. If two metals come out equal based on this, we look at how fast they react – just like using points difference in a sporting league table.

The most reactive metals are the alkali metals – group I of the periodic table. As you move down this group, the reactions get more violent. The video shows the reactions of the first four metals in group I: Lithium, Sodium, Potassium and Rubidium. There are two more metals in this group: Caesium and Francium. These both explode on contact with water.

Fast Fact: The group I metals are called ‘alkali metals’; when they react with water they form an alkali solution.

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