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Chemistry LibreTexts

Group 1: Reactivity of Alkali Metals

Alkali metals are among the most reactive metals. This is due in part to their larger atomic radii and low ionization energies. They tend to donate their electrons in reactions and have an oxidation state of +1. These metals are characterized by their soft texture and silvery color. They also have low boiling and melting points and are less dense than most elements. Lithium, sodium, and potassium float on water because of their low density. All these characteristics can be attributed to these elements' large atomic radii and weak metallic bonding.