O Level Chemistry & IP Chemistry Notes by 10 Year Series Author – Chemistry Specialist

O-Level & IP Pure Chemistry: The Reactivity Series of Metals

Reactivity Series of Metals

In the previous blog post, we have discussed on the physical properties of pure metals as well as the four main reasons why we use metals in the form of alloys.

Today, we shall take a look at The Reactivity Series of Metals.

Metals are listed in the Reactivity Series from the most reactive to the least reactive.

This is useful because it allows you to predict how a particular metal will undergo a certain chemical reaction. For example, the Reactivity Series will show you immediately why coins made of zinc metal look dull after some time while silver and gold coins remain bright and shiny for long period of time. This is simply due to the fact that zinc is more reactive than gold and thus it will react faster with air.

In Singapore, whether you are taking the GCE O-Level Pure Chemistry syllabus or any of the IP Chemistry syllabus, you will need to remember the sequence of metals in the Reactivity Series.

As such, we use mnemonics (super memory techniques) to help our Sec 3 and 4 O-Level Pure Chemistry and IP Chemistry Tuition Class students to recall the list of metals. This is really useful. In fact, you can come out with your own memorising method if you want. Else, just use the one that is presented here. You can download your copy of the Reactivity Series of Metals.

The Reactivity Series of Metals

MetalSymbolMnemonic
PotassiumKPlease
SodiumNaStop
CalciumCaCalling
MagnesiumMgMe
Aluminium *AlA
ZincZnZebra
IronFeInstead
TinSnTell
LeadPbLaura
(Hydrogen)HHow
CopperCuCopper
SilverAgStrengthens
GoldAuGold

* Aluminium tends to oxidise readily in air to form aluminium oxide, Al2O3(s). As such, aluminium is not very reactive in our everyday life because it is covered (and thus protected) by the layer of Al2O3(s). Note that the layer of Al2O3(s) has been removed before experiments were conducted by scientists to determine the position of aluminium in the Reactivity Series of Metals.

Special Note:

The Reactivity Series is actually determined by scientists through the reactions of a list of common metals with water, steam and dilute hydrochloric acid. We will discuss this in more detail in the next blog post. Do look out for it!

YouTube Video Tutorial on The Reactivity Series of Metals

You can watch the YouTube Video below to learn how to memorise the list of metals in the Reactivity Series.

Click on the following link for the video on O-Level Chemistry . IP Chemistry: The Reactivity Series of metals

Length of Video: 8.04 minutes

 

I hope you find the content easy for your understanding and if you have any questions, leave me a comment below. Feel free to share this blog post with your friends.

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PS: Under related articles below, there are several blog post discussions and questions related to Metals. You can also do a keyword search using the search box at the top right hand corner.

PPS: Do check out the Comments Section below to check out mnemonics shared by other Chemistry Teachers/Tutors/Students. Feel free to contribute your version too.

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Many know me as the Ten Year Series book author for JC A-Level H2 Chemistry and O-Level Pure Chemistry. My 19+ years of coaching experience (since 1999) with more than 1500 students from 180+ JCs and Secondary Schools has allowed me to understand the true reasons why students are not able to perform well in Chemistry. Most importantly, my strength lies in using everyday analogies (even grandmothers can understand!) to simplify abstract concepts. Also, my teaching methodology has been designed to be fun, enjoyable and effective for my students. If you want to have an enjoyable time learning Chemistry and being motivated to excel in Chemistry, contact me today at 98287357
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