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Interactives -- The Periodic Table Pick Another Interactive

Groups :

 Alkaline Earth Metals

 
Tool: Interactive Periodic Table

About the Group
The second column of elements from the left of the periodic table is known as the Group 2 or alkaline earth metals. It consists of beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium. Originally the term "alkaline earths" referred only to the oxides of calcium, strontium, and barium. The definition was later broadened to include the entire Group 2 family of elements. This group commonly loses the two s orbital electrons found in their outermost energy level. The remaining ion then has the desired complete octet of s and p orbital electrons in its outermost energy level.

Chemical Properties
One of the signature properties of this group of elements is that they become increasingly soluble with a decrease in temperature. This is usually true only for gases. Just imagine stirring sugar into a glass of tea. If you want to make really sweet tea, you need to add the sugar before adding the ice. Hot tea will dissolve more sugar in the same volume than cold tea. If the sugar were calcium, more calcium would dissolve into the liquid as you added the ice.





Illustration highlighting the alkaline earth metals on the periodic table
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