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.
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’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.