Difference in Properties between the Transition Metals & Group I Elements

  • The transition elements are located between Groups II and III in the centre of the Periodic Table.
  • They have all of the typical properties of metals but there are some key differences between them and the Group I metals.

Transition metals in Periodic Table, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

The transition elements on the Periodic table

  • All of the Group I metals form ions with a +1 charge while the transition metals can form ions with variable charges.
  • For example iron can form an Fe2+ ion or an Fe3+ ion.
  • The transition metals are much harder, stronger and denser than the Group I metals, which are very soft and light.
  • They have much higher melting points e.g. titanium melts at 1,688ºC whereas potassium melts at only 63.5ºC, not far off the average cup of tea!
  • The transition metals are much less reactive than the Group I metals.
  • The alkali metals react with water, oxygen and halogens while the transition metals either react very slowly or do not react at all.
  • A classic example of this is the reaction with oxygen.
  • A Group I metal will tarnish in the presence of oxygen as a metal oxide is formed.
  • When cut with a knife, the shiny appearance of the metal disappears in seconds as it is covered by the dull metal oxide.
  • Iron on the other hand can take several weeks to react with oxygen to form iron oxide (rust) and requires the presence of water.

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.