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General Characteristics of Alkaline Earth Metals

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Periodic discussion

↪ Alkaline earth metals Beryllium(Be), Magnesium(Mg), Calcium(Ca), Strontium(Sr), Barium(Ba) and Radium(Ra) belong to ⅡA group in the s-block of periodic table.
↪ These elements are called alkaline earth metal because:
i. Their oxides form alkali with water.
ii. Their oxides exist in earth crust.

General Characteristics of alkaline earth metals

⁕ Physical Properties

1. Physical state
↪ They are soft metal but harder than alkali metals.

2. Appearance
↪ They are silvery white but get tarnished in air.

3. Oxidation state
↪ These elements exhibit +2 oxidation states in combine state.

4. Atomic and ionic radii
↪ Atomic radii and ionic radii are fairly large though smaller than that of corresponding alkali metals.

5. Ionization energy
↪ Alkaline earth metals have fairly low ionization energy however higher than that of alkali metals.

6. Reducing nature
↪ They have high tendency to lose electron. So, they are strong reducing agent but weaker than alkali metals.

7. Electronegativity
↪ They are low electronegative elements but higher than alkali metals.

8. Conductivity
↪ They are excellent conductor of electricity.

9. Melting point and boiling point
↪ Alkaline earth metals have low melting and boiling point in period but higher than alkali metals.

10. Flame color
↪ Except Be and Mg, alkaline earth metals impart characteristics color in the flame of Bunsen burner.

⁕ Chemical Properties

1. Action with air
↪ Alkali metals react with moist air to form oxides, hydroxides and carbonate due to which they get tarnished.

2. Action with water
↪ Be doesn’t react with water, Mg reacts with hot water while Ca, Sr and Ba react with cold water rapidly liberating hydrogen gas.


3. Action with hydrogen
↪ Ca, Sr and Ba react with hydrogen at elevated temperature to form metal hydrides.


4. Action with Nitrogen
↪ Alkaline earth metals react with nitrogen at elevated temperature to form metal nitride.


5. Action with halogen
↪ Alkaline earth metals react with halogens to form corresponding halides.