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The aim of this experiment is to determine the order of the reactivity series by investigating the thermal breakdown of metal carbonates Hypothesis When a metal is thermally decomposed the bond between the metal and its carbonate carbon and oxygen is removed and the carbonate is released as cerbon dioxide The reactivity series determines how fast this reaction occurs The reactivity series is the order metals in the periodic table The most reactive metals are placed at the top of the reactivity series The least reactive materials are placed at the bottom of the reactivity series From preliminary work that I have already done I know that Potassium and sodium are the most reactive metals and that gold and platinum are the least reactive metals To determine the order of how reactive a metal is and where to place it in the reactivity series you have to see how the metal reacts to Oxygen air Water Acid When metals are heated they react with oxygen in the air As the metal is heated it reacts with the oxygen to form an oxide The most reactive metals such as potassium and sodium burn brightly as they are heated The less reactive metals do not burn brightly and take longer to form their oxide With some metals there is no reaction at all These are the metals at the bottom of the reactivity series such as gold Also the most reactive metals form their oxide much quicker than the less reactive metals This type of reaction is called an oxidation reaction because the metal gains an oxygen The formula for the reaction with air is Metal Oxygen Metal Oxide Metals can also be placed in water to see how they react Again the extremely reactive metals potassium and sodium react more vigorously compared to the less reactive metals In preliminary work that I have done as potassium was placed in cold water
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