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Properties and Reactivity of Metals


The characteristic properties of metals are summarized in Table 50.1


Table 50.1.Properties of Metals


By observing the relative reactivities of different metals in their reactions with oxygen, dilute acids, water and chlorine, the metals have been arranged in the order of their chemical reactivity as given in Table 50.2. Reactivities of certain metals are also compared by studying displacement reactions. A more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal from the solution of its salt. Such a list is called the activity series or reactivity series. Thus, the activity series is an arrangement of metals in the order of decreasing reactivity. In the reactivity series,  the most reactive metal is placed at the top whereas the least reactive metal is placed at the bottom. From this series it becomes possible to predict the general behaviour and relative chemical activity of the common metals.

Table 50.2. Reactivity Series of Metals

Metals occupying higher position in the series have more tendency to lose electrons and are more reactive. The metals at the bottom of the series are least reactive.