We see two metals belowthat have the right to be exposed come water. The snapshot on the left is of sodium, which offers a violent reaction once it comes in call with water. The snapshot on the right is that silver, a metal so unreactive through water the it have the right to be made into drinking vessels.

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Figure (PageIndex1): top top the left, sodium reacts v water. On the right, silver in the type of cups perform not react with water.

The activity Series

Single-replacement reaction only take place when the element that is law the replacing is an ext reactive 보다 the element that is being replaced. Therefore, the is advantageous to have actually a perform of elements in stimulate of their relative reactivities. The activity series is a list of aspects in decreasing bespeak of their reactivity. Because metals replace various other metals, when nonmetals replace other nonmetals, lock each have a separate activity series. The table below is one activity collection of most usual metals and of the halogens.

Table (PageIndex1): Activity series of metals in Aqueous services Most active (Easily Oxidized—Readily lose Electrons)
lithium Li

These metals displace hydrogen native water Ca(s) + 2H2O(l)→ Ca(OH)2 + H2 (g). These facets are really reactive and react conveniently to form compounds.

potassium K
barium Ba
calcium Ca
sodium Na
These steels displace hydrogen from mountain Zn(s) + HCl(aq)→ ZnCl2 + H2(g)
magnesium Mg
aluminum Al
zinc Zn
chromium Cr
iron Fe
cadmium Cd
nickel Ni
tin Sn
lead Pb
hydrogen H
copper Cu These metals do not displace hydrogen from acids or water. These facets are much more stable, and kind compounds much less readily than do those greater in the table.
silver Ag
mercury Hg
platinum Pt
gold Au

Least Active

For a single-replacement reaction, a given aspect is qualified of instead of an aspect that is listed below it in the activity series. This deserve to be offered to guess if a reaction will occur. Suppose that little pieces of the steel nickel were put into two different aqueous solutions: among iron (III) nitrate and one of command (II) nitrate. Looking at the task series, we see that nickel is listed below iron, but above lead. Therefore, the nickel steel will be qualified of instead of the lead in a reaction, yet will no be capable of replacing iron.

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In the descriptions that accompany the activity series of metals, a offered metal is additionally capable of experience the reaction described listed below that section. Because that example, lithium will react with cold water, replacing hydrogen. That will also react with heavy steam and through acids, due to the fact that that requires a lower level of reactivity.

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