Inorganic Chemistry

Structure and Bonding

What are the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals?

The first two columns of the periodic table are known as the alkali (Group 1) and alkaline earth (Group 2) metals. The elements in both groups have very low ionization energies, which means they readily give up one or two electrons to reach a Noble gas electron configuration (e.g., Na+, Mg2+). In their elemental forms, these elements are soft, silver-colored substances. These elements are almost never found in their pure elemental state in nature because they quickly react with air or moisture, sometimes violently.


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