Alkali Metals - Key terms
The elements in Group 1 of the periodic table of elements, with the exception of hydrogen. The alkali metals, which include lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, and francium, all have one valence electron in the s 1 orbital, and are highly reactive.
An electrode at the positively charged end of a supply of electric current.
A term used to describe any solution of sodium chloride in water.
An electrode at the negatively charged end of a supply of electric current.
The positive ion that results when an atom loses one or more electrons. All of the alkali metals tend to form +1 cations (pronounced KAT-ie-un).
A structure, often a metal plate or grid, that conducts electricity, and which is used to emit or collect electriccharge.
The use of an electric current to cause a chemical reaction.
The length of time it takes a substance to diminish to one-half its initialamount.
An atom or group of atoms that has lost or gained one or more electrons, and thus has a net electric charge.
Atoms that have an equal number of protons, and hence are of the same element, but differ in their number of neutrons. This results in a difference of mass. Isotopes may be either stable or unstable—that is, radioactive. Such is the case with francium, a radioactive member of the alkali metals family.
A pattern of probabilities regarding the position of an electron for anatom in a particular energy state. The six alkali metals all have valence electrons in an s 1 orbital, which describes a more or less spherical shape.
PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS:
A chart that shows the elements arranged in order of atomic number. Vertical columns within the periodic table indicate groups or "families" of elements with similar chemical characteristics; the alkali metalsoccupy Group 1.
A term describing a phenomenon whereby certain materials are subject to a form of decay brought about by the emission of high-energy particles. "Decay" in this sense does not mean "rot"; instead, radioactive isotopes continue changing into other isotopes until they become stable.
A compound formed, along with water, by the reaction of an acid and a base. Generally, salts are any compounds that bring together a metal and a nonmetal.
Electrons that occupy the highest energy levels in anatom, and which are involved in chemical bonding. The alkali metals all have one valence electron, in the s 1 orbital.