We begin this ar by analyzing the habits of representative metals in relation to your positions in the routine table. The primary emphasis of this section will it is in the application of periodicity to the representative metals.

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It is feasible to divide elements into groups according to your electron configurations. The representative facets are facets where the s and also p orbitals room filling. The change elements are facets where the d orbitals (groups 3–11 top top the routine table) space filling, and the inner change metals are the facets where the f orbitals room filling. The d orbitals fill through the elements in group 11; therefore, the elements in group 12 qualify as representative elements because the critical electron start an s orbital. Metals amongst the representative elements are the representative metals. Metallic character outcomes from an element’s ability to shed its external valence electrons and results in high thermal and also electrical conductivity, amongst other physical and also historicsweetsballroom.comical properties. There space 20 nonradioactive representative steels in groups 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, 14, and also 15 the the routine table (the facets shaded in yellow in figure (PageIndex1)). The radioactive facets copernicium, flerovium, polonium, and livermorium are also metals however are beyond the limit of this chapter.

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Alkali steels react straight with every the nonmetals (except the noble gases) to yield binary ionic link containing 1+ metal ions. These steels are therefore reactive the it is essential to avoid contact with both moisture and also oxygen in the air. Therefore, they space stored in sealed containers under mineral oil, as displayed in figure (PageIndex3), come prevent call with air and also moisture. The pure steels never exist free (uncombined) in nature due to their high reactivity. In addition, this high reactivity makes it necessary to prepare the metals by electrolysis of alkali steel compounds.

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Figure (PageIndex3): To prevent contact with air and water, potassium because that laboratory usage comes as sticks or beads save under kerosene or mineral oil, or in sealed containers. (credit: http://images-of-elements.com/potassium.php)

Unlike countless other metals, the reactivity and softness that the alkali steels make these metals unsuitable because that structural applications. However, there are applications wherein the reactivity of the alkali metals is an advantage. Because that example, the manufacturing of metals such together titanium and also zirconium relies, in part, on the capability of salt to minimize compounds of these metals. The produce of countless organic compounds, including particular dyes, drugs, and perfumes, uses reduction by lithium or sodium.

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Figure (PageIndex5): indigenous left come right: Mg(s), heat water in ~ pH 7, and also the resulting systems with a pH greater than 7, as shown by the pink color of the phenolphthalein indicator. (credit: modification of job-related by Sahar Atwa)

The potent reducing strength of hot magnesium is valuable in prepare some steels from their oxides. Indeed, magnesium’s affinity because that oxygen is so great that burn magnesium reacts through carbon dioxide, creating elemental carbon:

For this reason, a CO2 fire extinguisher will not extinguish a magnesium fire. Additionally, the brilliant white light emitted by burning magnesium provides it beneficial in flares and fireworks.



Group 12 Metals

The aspects in team 12 are shift elements; however, the last electron added is not a d electron, however an s electron. Since the last electron included is one s electron, these facets qualify as representative metals, or post-transition metals. The group 12 elements behave an ext like the alkaline earth metals than shift metals. Group 12 consists of the four elements zinc, cadmium, mercury, and also copernicium. Every of these elements has two electrons in its external shell (ns2). Once atoms of this metals form cations through a charge of 2+, where the two outer electrons room lost, they have actually pseudo-noble gas electron configurations. Mercury is sometimes an exception because it likewise exhibits an oxidation state of 1+ in compounds the contain a diatomic (ceHg2^2+) ion. In your elemental forms and also in compounds, cadmium and mercury are both toxic.

Zinc is the many reactive in team 12, and mercury is the least reactive. (This is the turning back of the reactivity trend of the steels of teams 1 and 2, in i beg your pardon reactivity boosts down a group. The increase in reactivity with boosting atomic number just occurs for the metals in groups 1 and also 2.) The to decrease reactivity is as result of the development of ions v a pseudo-noble gas configuration and to other factors that are past the border of this discussion. The historicsweetsballroom.comical behaviors of zinc and also cadmium room quite similar to every other but differ from the of mercury.

Zinc and also cadmium have actually lower reduction potentials 보다 hydrogen, and, choose the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals, castle will create hydrogen gas once they react through acids. The reaction the zinc with hydrochloric acid, presented in figure (PageIndex6), is:

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Figure (PageIndex6): Zinc is an energetic metal. It dissolves in hydrochloric acid, developing a solution of colorless Zn2+ ions, Cl– ions, and also hydrogen gas.

Zinc is a silvery metal that easily tarnishes to a blue-gray appearance. This readjust in color is because of an adherent coating of a basic carbonate, Zn2(OH)2CO3, which passivates the steel to inhibit more corrosion. Dried cell and also alkaline batteries contain a zinc anode. Brass (Cu and also Zn) and also some copper (Cu, Sn, and sometimes Zn) are necessary zinc alloys. About half of zinc manufacturing serves to protect iron and also other metals from corrosion. This protection may take the form of a sacrificial anode (also recognized as a galvanic anode, which is a method of offering cathodic defense for miscellaneous metals) or as a slim coating top top the safeguarded metal. Galvanized steel is steel v a protective coating the zinc.


Mercury is very different native zinc and cadmium. Mercury is the only steel that is fluid at 25 °C. Plenty of metals dissolve in mercury, forming solutions called amalgams (see the feature on Amalgams), which room alloys of mercury v one or an ext other metals. Mercury, presented in figure (PageIndex7), is a nonreactive facet that is more complicated to oxidize than hydrogen. Thus, that does not displace hydrogen indigenous acids; however, it will certainly react with strong oxidizing acids, such as nitric acid:

The clean NO initially formed easily undergoes more oxidation come the reddish brown NO2.

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Figure (PageIndex7): From left to right: Hg(l), Hg + concentrated HCl, Hg + concentrated HNO3. (credit: Sahar Atwa)

Most mercury link decompose as soon as heated. Many mercury compounds contain mercury v a 2+-oxidation state. Once there is a huge excess the mercury, it is feasible to kind compounds comprise the (ceHg2^2+) ion. All mercury compounds space toxic, and it is necessary to exercise great care in their synthesis.