2.8 explain the relative reactivities of the elements in Group 1 in terms of distance between the outer electrons and the nucleus.

This is a paper 2 separate science fact
  • Group 1 elements get more reactive, or more unstable as you go down the group.

 

  • Group 1 elements need to lose one electron to react
  • Electrons are held in place by the protons in the nucleus
  • The closer the nucleus is to the electron, the stronger the force will be
  • Therefore, the further away the nucleus is to the electrons, the weaker the force keeping them together will be.

 

  • Bigger atoms (the ones with more shells, lower down in the group) will have their last shells very far away from the nucleus
  • This means the electron will be lost easier
  • Therefore it reacts more easily/quickly/vigorously
  • Smaller atoms (higher in the group) are less reactive as it takes much less energy to break the force.
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