Specification Point 2.4C (Paper 2C Only):
Explain the trend in reactivity in Group 1 in terms of electronic configurations

Reactivity Trends & Electronic Configuration

Electronic configuration of Li Na K, CIE IGCSE Chemistry

Electronic configuration of the first three elements in group 1

Trend in Reactivity of Group 1:

  • Reactivity of group 1 metals increases as you go down the group.
  • Each outer shell contains only one electron, when group 1 metals react, they will lose one outer electron to get a full outer shell of electrons.
  • As you go down group 1, the number of shells of electrons increases by 1 (period number increases down the periodic table).
  • This means that the outer electron is further away from the nucleus so there are weaker electrostatic forces of attraction.
  • This requires less energy to overcome the electrostatic forces of attraction between the negatively charged electron and the positively charged nucleus.
  • This allows the electron to be lost easily, making it more reactive as you go down the group.

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Author: Jamie

Jamie got a First class degree in Chemistry from Oxford University before going on to teach chemistry full time as a professional tutor. He’s put together these handy revision notes to match the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry specification so you can learn exactly what you need to know for your exams.