Problem: Would you expect rubidium metal to be more or less reactive with water than potassium metal?The alkali metals react vigorously with water.

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We have to determine what would be the expected reactivity of rubidium metal with water.


Alkali metals react vigorously with water to produce their hydroxides and hydrogen gas.

2 M(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 MOH(aq) + H2(g)

M represents any alkali metal from Li to Cs.

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Problem Details

Would you expect rubidium metal to be more or less reactive with water than potassium metal?

Photographs show that Lithium in water produces some bubbles, sodium in water produces a flame, and potassium in water produces a large, sparking fire.

The alkali metals react vigorously with water.


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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Periodic Trends: Metallic Character concept. If you need more Periodic Trends: Metallic Character practice, you can also practice Periodic Trends: Metallic Character practice problems.

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